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Implications for Regional Allies Of The US.

It is the last objective, the removal of conditions that help incubate the "suicide bomber" mentality, which is a cause of concern for most countries in the Muslim World, including close allies of the US. The reason is that the incubation of the "jihad" and "shaheed" mentality has long been one way for the regimes in the area to turn the focus away from their own failings towards the Arab-Israeli confrontation, or towards the US. The key implication of Phase Two is that this approach will no longer be possible.

There are already wide-ranging concerns among Arab countries about what the future holds in store in terms of their relationship with the US. Few leaders among states allied to Washington are in any doubt that the WTC/Pentagon attacks of Sept. 11 has changed the way in which the US is viewing its relationships throughout the region. To complicate matters, the allied states have had to maintain a somewhat ambivalent stance against the US in general and against Operation Enduring Freedom in particular, in order to placate their restive populations - the majority of whom seem convinced that the US is waging a war against Islam.

For the time being at least, however, the likelihood of such pressures from the US are something which neither the Arab side nor the US would like to talk about, at least in public. To meet the imperatives of Phase One, Washington has had to placate its allies who have tolerated or encouraged terrorists operating within or out of their territories. The perspective of the "moderates" in the Bush administration was articulated in one conservative article as follows: "Some compromises have to be made now in order to get Bin Ladin, but that we are only in Phase One of this war on terrorism. Later we can, presumably, turn on the people with whom we have made the compromises, and can break whatever promises we have made to our Arab friends. We can then fulfill President Bush's promise to go after all the terrorists who threaten us and the states that sponsor them".

However, the article, calling for an even tougher approach, goes on to say: "But the world doesn't work that way. Once having promised not to go after Iraq, we are not going to turn on a dime and launch an attack. Once having compromised with Iranian-backed terrorism, we will not pivot and get serious about stopping it. If (Secretary of State) Powell's policy prevails, there will be no Phase Two. If he succeeds in enmeshing America in a coalition of the wicked, the war against terrorism will be brief, limited, and ineffectual. It will fail. It need not fail... All the evidence suggests the American people will support doing what it takes. What they need and deserve is leadership that recognizes that the events of September 11, and the threat of worse disasters ahead, require a real break from the old ways of doing business".
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Title Annotation:war on terrorism
Publication:APS Diplomat Strategic Balance in the Middle East
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 5, 2001
Previous Article:The War Against Terrorism - Part 3 - The 2nd Phase; The Long Term.
Next Article:Focusing On Education & The Media.

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