Respondents in 22 of 23 countries surveyed think U.S. action has failed to weaken terrorist groups, according to a BBC World Service poll.
According to the poll, only 22 percent of 23,937 respondents said al Qaeda has been weakened. Roughly 30 percent believe the ‘war on terror’ has had no effect, while the same percentage of respondents think U.S. efforts have made al Qaeda stronger.
Roughly half of those surveyed believe neither side is winning the conflict, while 61 percent feel negatively toward al Qaeda.
France and Mexico had the highest number of participants who believe U.S.led action has empowered terrorists. Italy, Australia and the UK followed, at around 40 percent.
Only Kenya, Nigeria and Turkey held widespread views that U.S. policy has been effective.
A quarter of Nigerians — the highest number of people in any country polled– held positive views of al Qaeda, compared to 42 percent negative.
Pakistani respondents were most likely to say al Qaeda is winning its conflict with the United States.
Pollster Doug Miller said, “The fact that so many people in Egypt and Pakistan have mixed or even positive views of al Qaeda is yet another indicator that the U.S. war on terror is not winning hearts and minds.”
“U.S. ‘war on terror’ has not weakened al-Qaeda, says global poll”
BBC Press Office, September 29, 2008
“U.S. War on al Qaeda Widely Viewed as a Bust”
Inter Press Service News Agency September 28, 2008