Study Questions Strategy Against Al-Qaida

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, a deputy commander of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division and of the U.S. military command for the Baghdad area, speaks with an Iraqi farmer, Tuesday. July 15, 2008, in an area about five miles east of the town of Latifiyah - that until recent months was a stronghold for al-Qaidai in Iraq. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)
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Washington (AP) A new study concludes the U.S. can defeat Al-Qaida by relying less on force and more on policing and intelligence to root out the terror group's leaders.

The study is from the Rand Research Center, which counsels the pentagon.

Funded by the government, the report says American officials should stop using the term “war on terror” and replace it with “counterterrorism.” A lead author says terrorists “should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors.”

Based on an analysis of 648 terrorist groups that existed between 1968 and 2006, the report concludes that a transition to the political process is the most common way such groups end. But the process, found in 43 percent cases examined, is unlikely with
Al-Qaida, which has a broad, sweeping agenda.

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