"There's no question that Iraq has diverted U.S. attention from the war on terrorism. [Iraq was] an unnecessary preventative war [that has] diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland.
- the report of the U.S. Army War College
Three quarters of all suicide bombings since 1968 took place in the four years after September 11, 2001.
- the RAND Corporation
"Are we better off in basic security than before we invaded Iraq? The answer is no. An unnecessary war has consumed American Army and other ground resources, to the point where we have nothing left in the cupboard. . . .”
- Dr. Jeffery Record, author, Dark Victory
"America's policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that . . . American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world."
- 9/11 Commission report
"Al Qaeda has fully reconstituted [and] set its sights firmly on the USA and its closest Western allies in Europe;" al Qaeda has been galvanized by the war in Iraq. As of mid-2004 it had at least 18,000 operatives in sixty countries.
- International Institute for Strategic Studies in London
"Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-US jihadists. [Those] who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups, and networks."
- CIA Director Porter Goss reporting at a Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing
"There was a moment of six months or so when we could have put much more pressure on the tribal areas [to get al-Qaeda], and on Pakistan, and done a better job of reconstruction in Afghanistan, [but] because of the attention to Iraq, what should have happened in Afghanistan didn't."
- Ambassador Laurence Pope, U.S. Middle East and North Africa diplomat (ret.)
"How will history judge this period, in terms of the opportunity costs of invading Iraq? I think the opportunity cost is going to be North Korea and Iran.”
- John Pike, the director of GlobalSecurity.org