Today, the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy magazine released the latest edition of their annual “terrorism index” survey. I’ll let the authors explain for themselves:
But is it making the United States safer? To find out, each year Foreign Policy and the Center for American Progress survey the very people who have run America’s national security apparatus during the past half century. Surveying more than 100 top U.S. foreign-policy experts — Republicans and Democrats alike — the Foreign Policy / Center for American Progress Terrorism Index is the only comprehensive, nonpartisan effort to poll the highest echelons of the country’s national security establishment for its assessment of how the United States is fighting the war on terror. First released in July 2006, then again in February and September 2007, the index attempts to draw definitive conclusions about the war’s priorities, policies, and progress. Its participants include people who have served as national security advisor, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, senior White House aides, top Pentagon commanders, seasoned intelligence professionals, and distinguished academics.
There’s a lot in there, but one noteworthy thing is a general trend in the direction of optimism as things settle down in Iraq. On the other hand, the surveyed experts continue to grow increasingly alarmed by American policy toward Tehran, which has neither improved relations between the U.S. and Iran nor done anything to impede the Iranian nuclear program. Other noteworthy results include the finding that 69 percent of surveyed experts recommend withdrawing most U.S. forces from Iraq over the next 18 months and 80 percent say that the United States has focused too much on Iraq and not enough on Afghanistan.