In spite of all their macho talk, in spite of their claims to be the only men the American people can trust to fight global terrorism and radical Islam, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld triad has actually failed when it comes to defending America. The Third Way National Security Project has just released a detailed study of the policies of the Bush regime and its national security failures. Here is a summary from the study:
• Iraq: The numbers show that the security situation is deteriorating rapidly – a chart shows that the number of average weekly attacks has risen steadily since the invasion, and the estimated number of insurgents in the country has gone from 5,000 in 2003 to more than 20,000 in April 2006. The report also compares the cost of Operation Desert Storm to the estimated costs of the Iraq War ($61.1 billion in 1991, compared to $549 billion-$1.27 trillion today). And the data show that indices of Iraqi quality of life have plummeted and our alliances have suffered significantly under the Bush Iraq policies.
• Terrorism: Despite the Bush claim that his administration had “arrested or otherwise dealt with” much of al Qaeda’s command structure, the estimated number of al Qaeda members has jumped from 20,000 in 2001 to 50,000 today, worldwide attacks are up sharply, and 86% of national security experts believe that the world is more dangerous for Americans today.
• Afghanistan: The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly – the data in the report show that number of Taliban attacks rose from 22 in 2001-2003 to 251 in 2004-2006, and the numbers continue to rise. Moreover, as recent news reports confirm, the unrest and Taliban resurgence have helped the country’s opium production to hit all-time highs.
• Iran: The data show that Iran’s nuclear program has made significant progress during Bush’s terms in office.
• North Korea: Similarly, the data show that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities have skyrocketed – they may have had one nuclear weapon in 2001, but experts are fairly certain they have between 3 and 9 today (and the ability to make many more), combined with a rapidly moving missile production system.
• The US Military: The data show that the Bush stewardship of the military and the Iraq War have had serious dilatory effects on readiness and the overall state of the military, especially the Army, National Guard and Reserves.
• China: While Bush has been focused on Iraq and elsewhere, China has become a powerful regional broker, our largest creditor and an ally of some of our most serious enemies.
The Republican strategy for this November's mid-term elections is a "robust" defense of the status quo policies of an administration whose policies have failed. There can be no other strategy for them, because any other would be an admission of failure, something this President will never allow.