The Nation: Are We Undermining Our Own Security? There is increasing evidence that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are fueling a radicalization of young Muslims in the United States. It's time to consider whether our approach to counterterrorism is really the right one at all.
NPR logo The Nation: Are We Undermining Our Own Security?

The Nation: Are We Undermining Our Own Security?

iStockphoto
Anti-Terror Policies
iStockphoto

Are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan creating a domestic terrorist threat? The potential disaster of a Nigerian man attempting to blow up a US airliner on Christmas day forces us to confront the question.

As the New York Times recently reported, there is increasing evidence that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are fueling a radicalization of young Muslims in the United States who are angry about the military occupation of Muslim lands and the killing of innocent Muslim citizens. There are legitimate concerns that this may lead to more ethnic profiling, but I believe the lesson is that we need to end as quickly as possible the military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and call for an end to permanent war against Islamic terrorists.

What is needed now are not partisan fights about whether the Obama Administration was doing enough to guard against terrorist attacks in the wake of shootings last month at Fort Hood, Texas. Instead, we should question whether our overreaction to the crimes against humanity on 9/11 — including the creation of an endless "war" against terrorism — has done more to undermine our security than enhance it. American safety will be better ensured through common-sense counterterrorism and homeland defense measures, including extensive intelligence cooperation expert police work and border control.