Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication

The Defense Science Board Task Force, a Federal advisory committee established to provide independent advice to the Secretary of Defense. released a report yesterday. This group reports to the Defense Department and its reports are issued in its name. The report states, in part:

__**1.2 The New Strategic Communication Environment**__

\Anti-American attitudes. Opinion surveys conducted by Zogby International, the Pew Research Center, Gallup (CNN/USA Today), and the Department of State (INR) reveal widespread animosity toward the United States and its policies. A year and a half after going to war in Iraq, Arab/Muslim anger has intensified. Data from Zogby International in July 2004, for example, show that the U.S. is viewed unfavorably by overwhelming majorities in Egypt (98 percent), Saudi Arabia (94 percent), Morocco (88 percent), and Jordan (78 percent). The war has increased mistrust of America in Europe, weakened support for the war on terrorism, and undermined U.S. credibility worldwide. Media commentary is consistent with polling data. In a State Department (INR) survey of editorials and op-eds in 72 countries, 82.5 % of commentaries were negative, 17.5% positive.

Negative attitudes and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to America’s national security and reduced ability to leverage diplomatic opportunities. Terrorism, thin coalitions, harmful effects on business, restrictions on travel, declines in cross border tourism and education flows, and damaging consequences for other elements of U.S. soft power are tactical manifestations of a pervasive atmosphere of hostility.\

So much for the war in Iraq reducing the threat of terrorism.

At the same time, the International Red Cross has accused the US of “Abuse tantamount to torture” in Guantanamo.

That’s bound to help our respect and standing in the world, too.

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