Seven years ago, the Bush administration initiated a “war against terrorism” aimed at wiping out terrorist groups in the Middle East. Seven long years have passed and now, instead of dealing with terrorists in the Middle East, the fight now entails terrorists in virtually every part of the world. Tuesday’s al-Qaida strike in Algiers left 43 dead followed by another strike yesterday which resulted in 11 more dead, bombs exploded in Turkey and a devastating attack in Pakistan which caused dozens of deaths. Ten French soldiers were killed in an attack and twenty wounded in Afghanistan where violence continues escalating despite seven years of fighting against the terrorists.
The death of the ten French soldiers has unleashed a wave of sympathy in the Western world, but rarely do we witness such an outpouring of grief when ten Afghan civilians are killed by coalition or American air strikes. Perhaps, it is time to pose questions about the so-called war against terrorism and explore alternative strategies. It is clear the Bush approach of more soldiers and more air strikes only results in allowing terrorist forces to grow in strength. The world must explore new anti-terror paths and they most probably include less emphasis on the military and more on economic and social development. They also must include a new vision of intellectual and emotional development.