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There was much irony, confusion and incompetence in President Barack Obama's speech at West Point earlier this week.If Obama is really concerned about this, he should convene an honest, dispassionate commission of enquiry into the full consequences of the 2003 war on Iraq that was energetically led by President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.Experts who study this phenomenon say that at least 15,000 armed and active fighters operate there today, while some put the figure closer to 30,000 .Al-Qaeda has also always capitalized on widespread Arab-Islamic resentment of two other factors that directly involve American policy: support for corrupt, incompetent and often-brutal Arab regimes; and chronic and extreme pro-Israeli policies in the Arab-Israeli conflict.An estimated 11,000 foreign fighters in Syria come from Western and Muslim-majority countries. Western governments have stepped up their efforts to stem this flow, including the United Kingdom, which has stripped at least 20 men of their citizenship and convicted one Islamist who returned home from Syria of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
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