January 9th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

How Obama can win terror war

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/07/us.troop.plans/art.soldier.afp.gi.jpg caption="A U.S. soldier patrols in a village north of Kabul, Afghanistan, last month."]

Peter Bergen
CNN National Security Analyst

In the war against al Qaeda and its allies, Barack Obama should adopt five key principles when he takes office.

First, the United States must lower the temperature in the Muslim world to help win back the "swing voters" in the Islamic world who turned against America and provide passive support to al Qaeda.

The Obama administration can do this by working as an honest broker to resolve conflicts such as those in Kashmir and Israel/Palestine that serve as grievances for Muslims and sometimes training grounds for militants.

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Filed under: al Qaeda • War on Terror
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Aleem

    The only way Obama can win against so called terrorists is to develop an American foreign policy, which is not crafted by the Isreali lobby.
    I am a naturalized American citizen and when I travel all over the world, I hear a cry from every one I see particularly in Europe and Middleeast, that American's should hold true to their values of Justice and fairness which is the cornor stone of all human interactions. These should not be only words but actions. The American politics have always been in the grip of Isreali lobby, and unless Obama can break him self free of this hold, he will achieve very little. He is already showing signs of falling in line with Israeli point of view. If this attitute continues, he will go into histroy as an ineffective leader on the world stage and American citizens will be unsafe every where in the world.
    I pray to God almighty to give him strength and wisdom to stand up to tyranny.

    January 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  2. Dave Eisley

    We absolutely must stop the never-ending wars. If history has taught us anything, wars merely serve as a stop-gap to the next conflict. They solve nothing except a momentary boom to the economy...in the Iraq case...a boom to Haliburton while the rest of the country suffers with a 7.5% unemployment rate. Thanks Devil Cheney. I hope Obama will approach these problems without carrying the big stick....didn't a guy named Kennedy say "we should never negotiate out of fear...but we should never fear to negotiate." Can't the country just vote to have George Bush leave TODAY? We've had enough.

    January 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  3. Annie Kate


    Again a well reasoned piece on what ought to happen in the Middle East. Obama ought to retain you as one of his advisors; he couldn't do any better and you have a mastery over the area and its going-ons that few others can claim. I hope Obama will read your piece and take your advice to heart.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    January 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  4. Dina - Cali

    Gene, not all media reports without bias. I agree with some of Peter's views...but it's nothing new, you can win any war by being fair...anyone can figure that out... too bad the U.S doesn't understand that and never will. their unconditional, unquestioned support for Isreal is the most ridiculas thing I've ever seen. Why do U.S tax payers have to pay 15 million a day to support Isreal's genocide on Palestine.

    The U.N, the Red Cross and the Vatican have all been to Gaza and have all said the same thing, it looks like a concentration camp, yet Jewish people and some americans (ignorant ones) still stand behind what Isreal is doing...how does that work? WHY are they fighting to begin with...why doesn't anyone ask the right questions anymore?

    January 9, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Lamont austin

    The only thing that will change the middle east is if Jesus comes back and says stop it..

    Ron Austin
    tucson az

    January 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  6. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Thank you for your article. I have been commenting on the blogs that no country can win the war against terrorists, by going to war. We, in the west must win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world which has plenty of decent, fair-minded people who like us want peace.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  7. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Mr' Bergen .... THANK YOU ! THANK YOU This is absolutely the Most Intelligent , honest, rational and balanced report I have ever remember reading on this topic. THANK YOU once again! You have restored my faith in the media to report with objective intelligence and balance. I sincerely hope the President-elect reads your views and acts on them.

    You have restored my faith in the media to intelligently see the world realistically and without bias.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  8. sam

    He can won any war by being fair and honest .

    January 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm |