FORMER CIA DIRECTOR SAYS WAR WILL GO ON FOR DECADES
Former CIA director James Woolsey, and now chief advisor to a major Terrorism Preparedness Taskforce,claims the conflict with Al Qaeda is the "fourth world war".
From an interview with Woolsey on ABC (Australia) Today:
"I think that war will go on for decades, like the Cold War, hopefully just a few decades instead of many decades.Go Here For The Full Interview Transcript
"But I don't think it's just a war on terrorism, I think it's a war on Islamist fanaticism or fascism, if you prefer, and it won't really be over until the future of the Middle East is clearly tending in one direction or another, either toward chaos and dictatorship, or in the direction that we hope Afghanistan and Iraq can move, toward decent societies, the beginnings of rule of law and some degree of democracy.
"It was not until after 9/11 that we did anything (about Islamist terrorism), and I think that they got the impression, just as bin Laden has explicitly stated, Americans won't fight, you can keep doing anything you want to them.
"And I think that Syria has been a major offender in its support for Hezbollah, in its efforts to undermine decent, largely democratic government in Lebanon, and I think it would've been a good idea to have stopped the Syrians from pumping weapons through their country to Hezbollah.
"(The fight against Al Qaeda is) far more like a war, but an ideologically motivated one, and we have been the focus of it, at least in part, since 1979, when our hostages were seized in Tehran, our embassy personnel by Khomeini's new regime.
"And we had a lot of terrorist attacks in the '80s and '90s, and we continued to treat it as a law enforcement problem. But it wasn't just the Clinton administration. I think that continued from really Carter through early Bush.
You can speculate that if we'd just sat here (after the 9/11 attacks) that al-Qaeda would've left us alone for a while, but I think it would've only been for a while.