John Edwards has an extensive essay in the upcoming issue of Foreign Affairs. He discusses the lack of success in the "war on terror".

 

An excerpt:

BEYOND THE "WAR ON TERROR"

There is no question that we must
confront terrorist groups such as al Qaeda with the full force of our
military might. As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to apply
the full extent of our security apparatus to protect our vital
interests, take measures to root out terrorist cells, and strike
swiftly and forcefully against those who seek to harm us.

But I
believe we must stay on the offensive against both terrorism and its
causes. The "war on terror" approach has backfired, straining our
military to the breaking point while allowing the threat of terrorism
to grow. "War on terror" is a slogan designed for politics, not a
strategy to make the United States safe. It is a bumper sticker, not a
plan. Worst of all, the "war on terror" has failed. Instead of making
the United States safer, it has spawned even more terrorism -- as we
have seen so tragically in Iraq -- and left us with fewer allies.

There
is no question that we are less safe today as a result of this
administration's policies. The Bush administration has walked the
United States right into the terrorists' trap. By framing this struggle
against extremism as a war, it has reinforced the jihadists' narrative
that we want to conquer the Muslim world and that there is a "clash of
civilizations" pitting the West against Islam. From Guant�namo to Abu
Ghraib, the "war on terror" has tragically become the recruitment
poster al Qaeda wanted. Instead of reengaging with the peoples of the
world, we have driven too many into the terrorists' arms. In fact,
defining the current struggle against radical Islamists as a war
minimizes the challenge we face by suggesting that the fight against
Islamist extremism can be won on the battlefield alone.

For these
reasons, many generals and national security experts have criticized
the president's "war on terror" approach. Retired Marine General
Anthony Zinni has said that the "war on terror" is a counterproductive
doctrine. So has the government of one of our closest allies; the new
British prime minister, Gordon Brown, has distanced himself from the
term. Admiral William Fallon -- President George W. Bush's new chief of
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) -- has instructed his staff to stop
saying that we are in a "long war." These leaders know that we need
substance, not slogans.

Leading Republicans have echoed such
views. The president's own former secretary of defense, Donald
Rumsfeld, said last March that the doctrine was one of his regrets. "It
is not a war on terror," he flatly told an interviewer. Meanwhile,
former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani curiously seems to have
forgotten that he said in March that we should abandon the "war on
terror" approach because, in his words, "America is seen as a country
by too many that wants to have war, or exercises its power too much,
pushes its weight around too much."

Yet the politics of fear
remains tempting. Some have chosen to pillory those who dare question
the concept of a "war on terror" as somehow weak. But these attacks
unmask the slogan for what it is: a political sledgehammer used to
stifle debate and justify policies that would otherwise be utterly
unacceptable.

 

This is the sort of plain talk on a complex subject that most americans are looking for, rather than the noise from the Republicans and the fear of speaking up from most of the Democratic candidates.  Let's hear more of this from everyone.