Since the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the attack on the Pentagon two years ago, there have been no major terrorist incidents in the United States. There were the anthrax attacks and a brief scare about radiological weapons, but the US as a whole has escaped further atrocities. Some would argue that this means the "war on terror", proclaimed by President Bush, is being won, even though there are repeated warnings of attacks in the US and the UK as well as civil defence exercises such as today's on the London Underground
From a global perspective, however, the picture is very different. The recent increase in violence and insecurity in Iraq, continuing unrest and insurgency in Afghanistan and the global activities of al-Qa'ida and its associates all point to a "war on terror" that is hardly being won.
Since 9/11, some intended attacks on Western interests have been intercepted, but many successful attacks have been carried out across the world, including in Casablanca, Riyadh, Karachi, Islamabad, Mombasa, Yemen and Bali. These have killed or injured well over 1,000 people, and there have also been numerous bomb attacks in the Philippines, substantial paramilitary actions by Chechen rebels and continuing violence in Israel/Palestine including repeated Israeli assassination attacks and Palestinian suicide bombs.
Al-Qa'ida and its associates are heavily involved in most of the actions against Western interests and their level of activity since 9/11 has actually been higher than in the previous two years. More generally, there has developed a degree of anti-Americanism across much of the Arab world and beyond that greatly limits the support for Bush's counter-terror strategy.
That strategy has already included two costly wars. In Afghanistan, close to 3,000 civilians died, together with many thousands of military. In Iraq, both figures are much higher - up to 7,000 civilians killed in just three weeks of war and as many as twice that number of military. In both wars serious injuries are numbered in the tens of thousands.
Hamid Karzai's government in Kabul struggles on against considerable odds and the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) has helped to produce a more stable environment in Kabul, but elsewhere in Afghanistan the warlords remain in control, opium production has increased and development projects are continually hindered. Nato may now be running Isaf, but the US repeatedly blocks any attempts to extend it beyond Kabul, while 10,000 of its own troops remain engaged in a guerrilla war with the Taliban.
The problem in Iraq is already far worse. US war deaths may be small, but serious injuries are very high with 1,425 casualties already evacuated back to the US, most of them injured since Bush's famous "end of war" declaration on 1 May. Even more remarkable is that 4,500 more troops have been sent home through physical or mental illness.
A bitter war is now developing, focused mainly on supporters of the old regime but likely to bring in militants from many other countries. President Bush claimed from the start that Iraq was a focus for terrorism - a claim for which there was little supporting evidence. But it is now turning out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. No longer will militants have to attempt attacks in the US, the Americans have come to them, giving them 140,000 targets in the heart of the Arab world.
The Taliban may have been defeated in Afghanistan and Saddam has been ousted in Iraq, but both countries remain deeply unstable and the US and its partners have killed or injured tens of thousands of civilians in the process. Meanwhile, al-Qa'ida and its associates remain highly active and have little difficulty in renewing their leaderships and gaining new recruits.
There is also a deepening antipathy to the West stemming from widening socio-economic divisions and marginalisation that readily forms a basis for the development of radical movements, even leading to rebellions and insurgencies. Many see Bush's war on terror more as an instrument of control than anything else.
Healing such divisions and undercutting the support for paramilitary groups will need specific action such as greatly enhanced security and assistance for Afghanistan as well as the replacement of the current Iraq occupation with a UN-mediated move to internal democratic government. Even more important will be sustained action to transform prospects for sustainable development. Without such change, there is little prospect of winning any war on terror and a much greater prospect of losing it.
Paul Rogers is Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University. His report 'The "War on Terror": two years on' is published by Oxford Research Group on Tuesday
Date: 22 September 2001
Place: American Airlines flight from Paris to Boston
What happened Briton Richard Reid prevented by passengers from igniting his shoe lined with explosives
Who was responsible Reid, 29, has associated with British Muslim militants and was a former member of al-Qa'ida Later sentenced to life imprisonment by a Boston court
Date: 17 March 2002
Place: Islamabad, Pakistan
What happened Two attackers enter a Christian church in a heavily guarded diplomatic compound. The men throw grenades at the worshippers before escaping
Casualties Five die including the wife and daughter of a US diplomat, 46 are injured
Who was responsible Believed to be Islamic militants
Date: 11 April 2002
What happened A truck packed with explosives is driven by a suicide bomber into a synagogue full of tourists
Casualties 21 die, most of them German
Who was responsible The bomber is named as Tunisian Nizar Nawar, 24. Tunisian authorities insist he acted alone, but al-Qa'ida claims responsibility
Date: 8 May 2002
Place: Karachi, Pakistan
What happened Suicide bomb explodes on a Pakistani navy bus outside the Sheraton, carrying French engineers
Casualties 14 killed, including 11 French defence engineers, and 34 injured
Who was responsible Pakistani militant group Jaish-I-Muhammad is blamed and suspected of links to al-Qa'ida
Date: 6 October 2002
What happened Suicide bomber attacks French oil tanker, the Limburg, spilling 90,000 barrels of oil
Casualties One crewman is killed
Who was responsible Al-Qa'ida claims responsibility and one of its operatives, Mohsen al-Fadhli, is arrested
Date: 12 October 2002
What happened Explosions destroy Sari Club and Paddy's bar
Casualties 202 die, mainly Western tourists including many Australians and Americans and 33 Britons
Who was responsible Jemaah Islamiya blamed for the attack, and suspected of links to al-Qa'ida. 'Laughing bomber' Amrozi bin Nurhasyim sentenced to death
Date: 23 October 2002
What happened 50 Chechen rebels, including female suicide bombers, take 700 hostages at theatre. Siege ends when troops storm theatre after disarming rebels with gas
Casualties 129 die from effects of the gas, including all rebels
Who was responsible Group instructed by Movsar Barayev, leader of ruthless Islamic Regiment of Chechen Fighters
Date: 28 November 2002
Place: Mombasa, Kenya
What happened Suicide bombers drive into Israeli-owned hotel. Twin missiles launched at Israeli jet carrying 272 passengers shortly after take-off, but they explode in mid-air
Casualties 15 die of car bomb, 80 injured - mainly Kenyans
Who was responsible Beirut-based group Army of Palestine claims responsibility, suspected of links with al-Qa'ida
Date: 12 May 2003
Place: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
What happened Four cars full of explosives are driven into expatriate housing compounds
Casualties 34 are killed including two Britons and seven Americans. More than 200 are wounded
Who was responsible Ali Abdul Rachman Gamdi and Abu Bakr al Azdi, a senior al-Qa'ida operative, are arrested
Date: 16 May 2003
Place: Casablanca, Morocco
What happened 14 suicide bombers set off explosions at Jewish centre, Spanish restaurant and Belgian consulate
Casualties 45 killed, over 100 injured. 12 bombers die in attack
Who was responsible Surviving bombers, Mohammed Omari and Rachid Jalil, sentenced to death with two other Salafist Jihad operatives; 83 members receive convictions
Date: 8 June 2003
Place: Kabul, Afghanistan
What happened Car bomb explodes in central Kabul.
Casualties Four German peacekeepers are killed, more than 30 wounded
Who was responsible Taliban guerrillas are blamed for the attack
Date: 6 July 2003
What happened Rock concert targeted by two female suicide bombers, stopped at entrance where bombs detonate.
Casualties 16 die and over 60 are injured
Who was responsible Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, believed to have links with al-Qa'ida. His motive was to disrupt Kremlin-sponsored presidential elections in Chechnya
Date: 20 August 2003
What happened A suicide bomber drives a truckload of explosives into the UN headquarters
Casualties 24 are killed including Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Representative in Iraq, and a British woman
Who was responsible Saddam loyalists are suspected
Date: 25 August 2003
What happened Twin car bombs explode in the busy commercial district of Bombay, by the central market and Gateway of India monument
Casualties 52 are killed and more than 150 injured
Who was responsible The Student Islamic Movement of India and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based insurgent group, are thought to have worked together on the attack
Date: 29 August 2003
Place: Najaf, Iraq
What happened A powerful car bomb explodes outside the entrance to the Imam Ali mosque during worship
Casualties 80 killed, including Shia cleric Ayatollah Baqr-al Hakim, who was collaborating with coalition forces
Who was responsible Supporters of Hakim accuse Saddam loyalists, though other groups also under suspicion
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