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Nigel Inkster, the former assistant head of the British spy service MI6, slammed the United States' handling of its fight on terror, including what he called the "frenzied, alarmist response" to the recently foiled Christmas Day bomber.
Writing in an article published in the International Institute for Strategic Studies journal Survival, Inkster and coauthor Alexander Nicoll hammered what they believe is an out of proportion response to attempted terror attacks. They also attacked the United States' policy of imprisoning detainees without trial -- a practice that has continued under President Barack Obama.
"It is surely not inspiring for radicalised people with the potential for violent action to see terrorists tried in ordinary criminal courts and sentenced to long prison terms." The authors, both members of the International Institute, continue: "But it surely is inspiring to them to see terrorists treated as a special class of prisoners to be held by the military, imprisoned without trial and tortured. This is the kind of treatment that makes jihadists believe that they can indeed be the fighters for a cause that they aspire to be."
"On top of this, there is the argument that democratic values … are the [west's] best advertisement," Inkster and Nicoll remark. "Departures from such values have damaged America's … reputation."
Inkster asserts that Bush' war on terror did far more damage in its sheer cost to the global economy than the 9/11 attacks.