Carper Says Bush Policies Have Made America Less Safe

Joins Democratic Leadership in Issuing New National Security Report

WASHINGTON (Sept. 5, 2006) — Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., today joined Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Democratic leaders in releasing a new report that documents how the world has become less safe and secure under the Bush administration’s foreign policy. The report by Third Way, a progressive policy group that Sen. Carper helped found two years ago, analyzes data across seven key national security indicators: Iraq, terrorism, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, China and the condition of the U.S. military. The report, “The Neo Con: The Bush Defense Record by the Numbers,” finds that the policies of the Bush administration are not working and that we need a new direction in order make the United States and the world safer and more secure from terrorist threats and nuclear proliferation. “The world changed on September 11th, 2001. But the world has changed since then, too, and it’s not necessarily been for the better,” said Carper. “Instead of trying to politicize the war on terror and the situation in Iraq, or insinuate that Democrats don’t have the strength to stand up to our enemies, the president needs to work with both parties to forge a path forward in Iraq and around the world.” Carper continued, “It’s clear that we need a new direction if we’re going to win the war on terror, stabilize Iraq and ward off threats from Iran and North Korea. The president needs to give up his ideological aversion to diplomacy if we’re going to solve myriad problems facing us in Iraq and around the world.” According to the report: Iraq: The number of average weekly attacks has risen steadily since the invasion and the estimated number of insurgents in Iraq has gone from 5,000 in 2003 to more than 20,000 in April 2006. Meanwhile, the quality of life for many Iraqis has plummeted, as fewer Iraqis today have access to electricity and safe drinking water than before the war. Meanwhile, the original cost estimates for the war were about $50 billion to $60 billion; today, it’s estimated to cost 10 to 20 times that amount. Afghanistan: The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. The data in the report show that the number of Taliban attacks has skyrocketed, from 22 in 2001-2003, to 251 in 2004-2006. Meanwhile, the country’s opium production has hit record highs, which only profits the Taliban and Afghani insurgents seeking to overthrow the government the United States put in place several years ago. Iran and North Korea: Data show that Iran’s nuclear program has made significant progress during President Bush’s term in office, while North Korea’s nuclear capabilities have skyrocketed. In 2001, it is estimated that North Korea may have had one nuclear weapon. Today, security experts are fairly certain they have between 3 and 9. For more information on the report, go to Third Way’s website,