US advised to treat Qaeda as criminals, not holy warriors to win "war on terror"

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Washington, July 30 : A new study conducted by a US-based organisation has suggested to the US to drop the "war on terror" label and shift its strategy against Al Qaeda from the current heavy reliance on military force to a "more effective use of police and intelligence work".

The study by the RAND Corporation, a think tank that often does work for the US military, said that there was no battlefield solution to terrorism.

"Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism," the Dawn quoted Seth Jones, lead author of the study, as saying.

In the backdrop of the US military's insistence for more troops to combat an intensifying militancy in Afghanistan, the RAND study recommends only "a light military footprint or none at all."

The study examined how groups of militants had ended since 1968, and found that only seven per cent were defeated militarily. According to it, most of these groups were neutralised either through political settlements, or through the use of police and intelligence forces to disrupt and capture or kill leaders.

"Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this timeframe achieved victory," the report said and added: "This has significant implications for dealing with Al Qaeda and suggests fundamentally rethinking post-September 11 counterterrorism strategy."

It argued that a US strategy centred primarily on the use of military force had not worked, pointing to Al Qaeda's resurgence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border nearly seven years after the September 11 attacks. Policing and intelligence "should be the backbone of US efforts," said the report prepared after the study.

It further said that police and intelligence agencies were better suited for penetrating terrorist groups and tracking down terrorist leaders, and added that military force, though not necessarily US soldiers, "may be a necessary instrument when Al Qaeda is involved in an insurgency".

ANI

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