London, Oct 8, IRNA - The so-called 'War on Terror' has been a "disaster" and British military policy in Iraq and Afghanistan must be fundamentally changed if al-Qaeda is to be defeated, a new report warned Monday.
The report, by the Oxford Research Group (ORF) think-tank, called for major changes in foreign policy and also warned of the dangers of military threats against Iran.
"Every aspect of the War on Terror has been counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the loss of civilian life through to mass detentions without trial," said ORG security consultant Professor Paul Rogers.
"In short, it has been a disaster. Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies," said Rogers who authored the report.
The warning comes ahead of an announcement by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the future of British forces in Iraq following his visit to Basra last week.
The report, Towards Sustainable Security - Alternatives to the War on Terror, called for a complete withdrawal from Iraq as well as a scaling down of military operations in Afghanistan and the ending of extraordinary rendition and detention without trial.
The withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, it said, should be paralleled with intensive diplomatic engagement in the region, including with Iran and Syria.
In Afghanistan, it also called for far greater civil aid and negotiations with militia groups aimed at bringing them into the political process.
"Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies," Rogers said.
He also warned that any contemplation of military action against Iran "will make matters far worse" and suggested that whatever the problem, "war should be avoided at all costs."
ORG is an independent non-governmental organization, established in 1982, which seeks to bring about positive change on issues of national and international security.
... Payvand News - 10/8/07 ... --