In Chapter 2 of the Re-engage! book I present a chart (Fig.2.1) that displays the numbers of fatalities inflicted worldwide by terrorists, 1998-2006. Now, the State Department’s National Counter-Terrorism Center has just published its report on how the "Global War on Terror" went in 2007, and once again the picture is sobering. Their main page of statistics is here. Scroll down to see just how badly the GWOT has been going over the past three years.
However, the figures for just those years don’t show the size of the contrast between the situation before the US invaded Iraq, and the situation after. Before 2003, the annual global fatalities from terror never exceeded 5,300. In 2003 they climbed just above 6,000; and every year since 2004 they have exceeded 12,000, showing a continuing increase each year.
In 2007, the number reached 22,685.
I have now updated the chart on global fatalities. You can download it as a Word document from here.
This record provides additional, very tragic evidence to my argument that the way the Bush administration has responded to the challenge posed by the terrorists has not worked. I still strongly maintain that a more effective policy would be based on (1) solid, but always rights-respecting police work and cooperation among police agencies across borders; (2) a recognition that terrorist violence is a challenge faced by many of the world’s peoples, and not just Americans; and (3) pursuit of a holistic, ‘human security’ approach to building the security of all the world’s nations, interdependent as we all are.
The use of massive military force to invade distant countries has not worked. We are surely smart enough to recognize that we need to try something different?
(Cross-posted onto Re-engage blog. Please go comment over there. But if anyone can tell me how to export an Excel chart into a web-page that can then be posted directly into a blog, please enlighten me. Thanks!)