Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist, quashing any insurgent uprising before it could take hold. Bush's invasion of Iraq unseated the government, opened the borders, and created the perfect breeding grounds for an insurgency, now some 30,000 strong. However, Bush's invasion has not only spawned well over 25,000 Iraqi insurgents, it is also recruiting foreign fighters into the jihad against the US.
There are only approximately 352 Saudi insurgents in Iraq. However, they are the most sought-after militants because of their contributions of cash to the Iraqi insurgency and because when they are "martyred," it brings great media attention in the Middle East to the Iraqis' cause. The CSIS study cites Saudi intelligence analysis that leads to the conclusion that the Saudi militants were "radicalized almost exclusively by the Coalition invasion."
In the aforementioned press conference, Bush also claimed that "we've made the decision to defeat the terrorists abroad so we don't have to face them here at home. And when you engage the terrorists abroad, it causes activity and action." Studies from the state departments of both the US and Britain show terrorist "activity and action" have grown to unprecedented levels around the globe since Bush has been engaging them abroad, so Bush got that part right. However, his logic that engaging them abroad prevents you from having to face terrorists at home is flawed.
First of all, this post already ascertains that most of the insurgents in Iraq are home-grown in less than the past three years, so they were of no threat to the US until Bush "engaged" them (his polite term for "invading their homeland"). Furthermore, the insurgents Bush created in Iraq are attacking fellow Iraqis more than they do Americans. The bigger problem is the foreign militants that have been able to infiltrate Iraq since the invasion.
Thomas Sanderson of CSIS said these foreign militants are:
exposed to international networks from around the world [in Iraq, and] returning with bomb-making skills, perhaps stolen explosives, vastly increased knowledge. If they are succeeding in a hostile environment, avoiding … US Special Forces, then to go back to Europe, my God, it's kid's play.Sanderson's concerns are shared by US counter-terrorism officials. They fear that Islamic militants are fighting in Iraq so they can return to Europe with battle training and a passion to harm the West. There's no reason to believe the threat is limited to Europe. With American security forces spread across the globe, US ports and borders are left almost entirely unguarded. Considering American citizens comprise some of those Islamic militants trained abroad, it won't be long before America has to face more terrorists here at home.