NATO achieved little in anti-terrorism in past 10 years
Updated: 2011-09-08 21:35
By Lu Yanyu (chinadaily.com.cn)
Marc Hecker, an expert at the Defense Research Unit (DRU) of the IFRI (French Institute of International Relations), a think tank of the European Union, spoke disapprovingly about the role of NATO in assisting the US in fighting terrorism in the past 10 years after 9/11.
He says NATO has been playing a rather embarrassing role and its effects are disappointingly limited and unsatisfactory.
Hecker said although Osama bin Laden was killed, it does not necessarily mean an overall success and an end for the US anti-terrorism war.
On the contrary, the situation becomes more complicated because dramatic changes in Islamic jihad have taken place in the past 10 years.
Operation Enduring Freedom has led to a more geographically dispersed Al Qaida. New branches and members appeared not only in Iraq, but North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Plus, a group of homegrown terrorists, skilled at utilizing the Internet to launch an "online jihad", also mushroomed in a lot of Western nations, which poses a great threat to the stability and security of many nations.
Hecker said the military operation NATO has engaged in aroused conflicts among many member countries and worsened the financial situation of many countries in expanding their national defense expenses against the backdrop of a global financial crisis.
"So much has changed in terms of the historical background since its establishment. The validity of NATO is questioned now by the public and NATO will have to pay a larger share of the cost for its military involvement in supporting the US’ war against terrorism," he said.
Hecker pointed out that the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war put US in a dilemma.
For US President Barack Obama, the Iraq war was wrong from the beginning and the Afghanistan war is just, and that is the theoretical basis for his policy to retreat from Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan.
But under huge domestic anti-war pressure, Obama has to promise to retreat from Afghanistan soon, which detracts from the legitimacy of US troops being stationed there and seems contradictory to the mission of maintaining peace and order it claims to have achieved.
On the whole, Obama's war policy lacks public support, he noted.