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Iraq war puts U.S. in more danger, experts say

WASHINGTON – A poll of 100 foreign policy heavyweights Monday showed most believe we’re losing the war on terror, we’re less safe because of Iraq, and that Islamic fanatics will mount another U.S. strike.

The bipartisan panel including Madeleine Albright and Lawrence Eagleburger, secretaries of state for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, also defied views held by leading presidential candidates such as Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Nine out of 10 of the former top government, military and intelligence leaders surveyed warn that Americans now face greater danger and anticipate a new spectacular attack in the next decade, Foreign Policy magazine and the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress found.

That contradicts statements by both President Bush and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who jarred liberals at a presidential debate in June when she said, “I believe we are safer than we were.”

Most of those surveyed – including prominent conservatives – blamed the Iraq war for increasing perils at home and its negative impact worldwide.

The conservatives, who included former CIA Director James Woolsey, post-invasion Iraq viceroy Paul Bremer and scholar Daniel Pipes, offered a bleak assessment of the fight against terror.

Despite GOP presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s belief the troop surge in Baghdad was a wise move by Bush, 64 percent of conservative experts disagree with him. Bush’s handling of the war fared even worse, with 84 percent of conservatives decrying its “negative impact” and barely rating the effort a three on a 10-point scale.

Only 20 percent of conservatives in the survey believe the U.S. is winning the overall war on terror. Most agreed we’re losing and the terror threat keeps increasing.

Half the experts said that al-Qaida had not staged another attack because their capabilities are overrated or U.S. intelligence has succeeded in thwarting it. Only 2 percent said Bush’s counterterror strategy deserves credit for keeping America safe.


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