1. Why Terror Free Tomorrow?
Terror Free Tomorrow promotes a new strategic vision: leading the struggle against terror by winning the popular support that now empowers global terrorists. As a result, we advance the most effective policies to counter support for terrorists. Indeed, over the past year, Terror Free Tomorrow’s work demonstrates that American humanitarian leadership can reverse the popular support behind global terrorists
Terror Free Tomorrow grew out of the policy void following 9/11. America needs to lead with a robust military response and tough law enforcement to defeat global terrorists today. But we need more. The United States, in partnership with the developed world and Muslims alike, must lead the fight against terrorism by winning the popular support that empowers terrorists in the first place.
2. Who leads Terror Free Tomorrow?
Senator John McCain and former 9/11 Commission Chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton lead our international Advisory Board. As a federal prosecutor, Terror Free Tomorrow’s President, Ken Ballen, has successfully prosecuted international terrorists. Ken also played a key role in some of the most important Congressional investigations of the past two decades.
3. Why Does Popular Support for Terrorists Matter?
From Terror Free Tomorrow in The Wall Street Journal:
“Radical Islam has become a mass movement throughout the Muslim world.... More than the simple number of new recruits, however, the degree to which radical Islamism enjoys popular support hinders the ability to collect vital intelligence from an unsympathetic public. No matter what reward is offered for Osama bin Laden, for instance, the support he enjoys in the tribal areas of Pakistan provides him with a layer of public protection that makes it exceedingly difficult for even the most sophisticated intelligence to penetrate. Most critically, the growing popular support of radical Islamism destroys the ability of moderate Muslims and friendly governments to successfully occupy the public space necessary to counter the radicals.”
4. Has Terror Free Tomorrow Made A Difference?
Terror Free Tomorrow has changed American foreign policy, as demonstrated by the following measurable and concrete results:
Ø Terror Free Tomorrow’s work has helped initiate a new strategic thinking at the Pentagon, which recognizes the vital role humanitarian action can serve in eroding popular support behind global terrorists. The Navy’s top officer, Admiral Michael Mullen, stated that the favorable change in public opinion documented by Terror Free Tomorrow after American tsunami relief was the “critical factor” in launching the 2006 mission of the Navy hospital ship Mercy.
ØMercy is a fully equipped, 1,000-bed hospital, which from May to August of 2006 offered free medical services and training to the people of Indonesia, Bangladesh and elsewhere, including care to over 61,000 needy patients. According to Admiral Mullen, overwhelming favorable opinions of the mission by both Indonesians and Bangladeshis, as documented by Terror Free Tomorrow, will lead to future missions by the Mercy and other naval hospital ships
Ø Terror Free Tomorrow polling, which demonstrated a dramatic change of public opinion in Indonesia after American tsunami aid, helped in fact to sustain that aid, as continually stated by former Presidents Clinton and Bush.
Ø Terror Free Tomorrow findings in Indonesia were critical in the initial Administration and Congressional debate on how to respond to the earthquake in Pakistan. Indeed, once Terror Free Tomorrow completed its Pakistani survey, the survey results from Pakistan were a principal finding by the US Senate for the United States to sustain its high level of assistance for earthquake relief and reconstruction.
5. What are Terror Free Tomorrow's activities?
Terror Free Tomorrow finds empirical evidence on effective polices to erode popular support behind global terrorists. Public opinion surveys, translations and original research are singularly powerful methods to influence policy makers in Washington. The Congress is highly sensitive to the importance of polling, while translations are an immediate and concrete way to bring the nature of the radical ideology to life. Terror Free Tomorrow promotes the most effective policies to defeat popular support for terrorists.
6. How is Terror Free Tomorrow different?
Though experienced in public opinion research and employing the highest objective standards, we’re more than public opinion experts. Steeped in law enforcement and intelligence expertise, Terror Free Tomorrow is dedicated to understanding and eroding popular support behind global terrorists. We believe it is essential to build an American foreign policy that prioritizes eroding popular support behind terrorism in order to defeat the terrorists themselves.
We use the tools of public opinion survey analysis, translations and outreach to help accomplish our goal. In less than a year and half, Terror Free Tomorrow has conducted fifteen different public opinion surveys throughout the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to the Palestinian Territories, the United Arab Emirates to Turkey, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Our exclusive and dedicated concentration on the Muslim world, along with grassroots Muslim participation, gives us the best chance to promote the most effective policies to counter popular support for extremism.
7. Is Terror Free Tomorrow partisan?
At the same time Terror Free Tomorrow has been chosen as a participant in the Clinton Global Initiative, our work has also been featured by the Heritage Foundation. The Clinton Global Initiative is led by President Bill Clinton, while the Heritage Foundation is the leading conservative think tank in the country. In the polarized partisan environment of Washington, Terror Free Tomorrow’s vital new strategy against terrorism has found unique support across the political spectrum. Our singular ability to span partisan division is also illustrated by our distinguished board, from leading Republicans such as Senator John McCain and 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Tom Kean to Democrats including 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton.
8. How can popular support for extremism be countered?
In releasing its new counterterrorism strategy earlier this year, the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledged: “The American military’s efforts to aid tsunami victims in Indonesia and to assist victims of Pakistan’s earthquake did more to counter terrorist ideology than any attack mission.” Extensive public opinion surveys by Terror Free Tomorrow offer compelling corroborating evidence:
Ø The Navy’s top officer, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Mullen, was “struck by the results” of Terror Free Tomorrow polling, which showed that “as a direct result of American humanitarian assistance, there was a stunning turnaround of public opinion” in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, away from support for terrorism and Bin Laden and toward support of the United States. Admiral Mullen concluded that the change in Muslim opinion documented is nothing less than “one of the defining moments of this new century.” The positive effect of substantial American assistance has endured. Even one year after tsunami assistance, 63% of Indonesians surveyed remain favorable to the United States because of American tsunami aid.
ØIn Pakistan following the earthquake, radical Islamist groups and Al Qaeda allies were among the first to give aid. But when the United States responded with a massive relief effort, vociferously opposed by the radicals themselves, public opinion in Pakistan dramatically changed. The United States ended up ranked by the Pakistani people as the most effective in helping the earthquake victims, substantially higher than the radical Islamist groups. As a result, not only did opinion of the US among Pakistanis rise to its highest level since 9/11, but favorable views of Bin Laden and the radicals fell to their lowest. Again, even almost a year following the earthquake, three-quarters of Pakistanis surveyed remain favorable to the US because of earthquake aid.
Ø The radicals themselves know that charity, one of the five basic pillars of Islam itself, works. The number one reason Hamas was voted to power in the Palestinian Territories, according to a Terror Free Tomorrow survey, was the humanitarian assistance it provided. Hamas’ radical Islamist views came in as the last reason Palestinians voted for the movement; its reputation for humanitarian assistance first.
9. Is Terror Free Tomorrow political?
We’re the only non-partisan, not-for-profit organization promoting the priority of effective policies to counter popular support behind global terrorists. Terror Free Tomorrow is working with America’s top military leaders to advance the importance of humanitarian missions to win popular support away from terrorists. We’re about bringing together new coalitions that defy political labels. America’s national security depends on the United States, in partnership with the developed world and Muslims alike, leading the struggle against terrorism by winning the popular support that empowers global terrorists in the first place.
10. Where did the name "Terror Free Tomorrow" come from?
Terrorism is a global plague, and the hope for a truly terror free tomorrow is universal. In our early stages, we had a chance to try out our name in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country. Muslim student, religious and focus groups we met with all agree: “Terror Free Tomorrow” is a vision of the future that unites citizens from around the world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
11. Who has Endorsed Terror Free Tomorrow?
Senator John McCain: "I strongly endorse Terror Free Tomorrow's mission to focus public attention on the support base that empowers global terrorists. I commend Terror Free Tomorrow's efforts.”
Former Congressman and 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton: "We urgently need an innovative organization like Terror Free Tomorrow to educate the American people about the support that Al Qaeda and its affiliates are now gaining in some countries. Terror Free Tomorrow's efforts provide an extraordinary service to the struggle against terrorism. I applaud Terror Free Tomorrow's crucial work to explore and overcome the support that gives rise to terrorism."
Former Governor and 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Thomas Kean: "The importance of a support base to the power and reach of global terrorists cannot be overlooked. I applaud Terror Free Tomorrow for working to address this issue and to disrupt the support base that is now increasingly empowering global terrorists."
Former Senator & National Security Commission Chair Warren Rudman:"Terror Free Tomorrow is focused on a critical issue to prevailing against global terrorism--the growing support base that provides terrorists with increasing recruits and funding. I support Terror Free Tomorrow's initiative and firmly believe that this type of grass-roots work is essential.”
Clinton Global Initiative: Terror Free Tomorrow is one of a select group of non-profits chosen as a participant in the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative. The Clinton Global Initiative, led by President Bill Clinton, is a non-partisan catalyst for action, including current and former heads of state, top businesses and key non-governmental organizations.
The Families of September 11 also endorse Terror Free Tomorrow.
For a full list of other endorsements and our Advisory Board, click here.
12. What have former Presidents Clinton and Bush said about Terror Free Tomorrow’s work?
President Bill Clinton continues to regularly cite Terror Free Tomorrow’s work in his speeches. For example, President Clinton cited Terror Free Tomorrow’s public opinion surveys in his speeches on March 28, 2006, April 12, 2006, May 23, 2006, June 5, 2006, June 21, 2006 and November 13, 2006, among others:
“There is one, and only one Muslim country where the public opinion of the United States has soared since 2003 and stayed high: Indonesia—the largest Muslim country in the world. When the President asked his father and me to coordinate part of the fundraising effort for tsunami relief, and then we went together to South Asia, we came back to make our report to the White House. When I was on the way in to the meeting with the President, one of the career people from USAID who had worked with us handed me a poll just completed in Indonesia. Comparing attitudes on the United States and Osama Bin Laden with a year previous, approval of the United States [because of the tsunami] had gone to 60 percent and approval of Bin Laden had gone from 58 to 23 percent.”
“Mr. Bin Laden had done nothing to the Indonesians after the tsunami, but nothing for them, either. And in a stunning moment—when they saw the military dropping food instead of bombs, when they saw the American civilian aid workers, both from religious and nonreligious groups, in a stunning moment, they saw us as people because we saw them as people. Across all the religious and geographic and political divides, in that terrible moment of tragedy, we were united in our common humanity. A year later, according to another survey [by Terror Free Tomorrow] just released, those gains in public opinion have endured.”
Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton News Conference at the White House:
“Q The President -- the current President Bush likes to talk about signs emerging and people learning that America has a different side of it. Did you -- what evidence can you cite from your trip to support that, and how will Americans know for sure that this is having a concrete impact on the image of the United States in the Muslim world?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: I'll let President Clinton take it, but before he says something, there's a great poll that we were shown today, a polling of Indonesia, the mood of Indonesians, the view of Indonesians towards the United States of America. And it's a dramatic change, when they've seen the kindness, the outpouring of support for the tsunami victims. That has turned public opinion very much in favor of the United States.
FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes, I urge you to get it. It's on the Internet now [terrorfreetomorrow.org]. I'll tell you what we saw. Every little place we went, people came up and thanked us for what the American military did in bringing in humanitarian supplies, or what the USAID workers are doing, what the American non-governmental organizations were doing.”
13. What are American military leaders saying?
Admiral Michael Mullen, Chief of Operations for the US Navy, stated that he was “struck by the results” of Terror Free Tomorrow findings, which showed that “as a direct result of American humanitarian assistance,” there was “a stunning turnaround of public opinion” in the Muslim world. Admiral Mullen wrote: “That was, in my view, one of the defining moments of this new century.”
"Shame on us," Admiral Mullen concluded, “if, even through benign neglect, we allow those same opinions to turn against our best intentions again.”
Pentagon officials involved in writing the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently released counterterrorism strategy have acknowledged that "the American military's efforts to aid tsunami victims in Indonesia and to assist victims of Pakistan's earthquake did more to counter terrorist ideology than any attack mission." (New York Times)
14. And in the Congress?
U. S. Senate Resolution 356, unanimously passed by the Senate on January 27, 2006, supported the United States “to take the lead” to encourage and continue relief efforts in response to the earthquake in Pakistan, finding that “the results of a poll by the nonprofit organization Terror Free Tomorrow show that, at the end of November 2005, more than 46 percent of Pakistanis had a favorable view of the United States, double the percentage of Pakistanis that held that view in May 2005.” The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Lugar and Biden (Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), and introduced by Senator Mikulski, among others.
Senator Joseph Biden, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate extensively cited Terror Free Tomorrow’s surveys to argue for increased aid to Pakistan “to replicate our success in Indonesia” which resulted in “an incalculable amount of goodwill” among the Muslims in the world’s largest Islamic nation.
Senator Barack Obama, in his book relies on Terror Free Tomorrow’s work for the conclusion to his foreign policy chapter. Citing Terror Free Tomorrow’s findings, Senator Obama concludes that U.S. assistance to Indonesia after the tsunami is an example of the kind of policies that the United States should pursue: “65 percent of Indonesians surveyed said that this assistance had given them a more favorable view of the United States. I am not naïve enough to believe that one episode in the wake of catastrophe can erase decades of mistrust. But it’s a start.”
Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. AID Administrator James Kunder described Terror Free Tomorrow as an organization represented by “many distinguished professionals.” Kunder cited Terror Free Tomorrow’s work as the evidence behind the fact that: “The compassion of ordinary Americans and the private sector, combined with prompt government action, has significantly changed the way Indonesians view the USA…. This measurable progress on ‘winning hearts and minds’ and gaining allies in the Global War on Terrorism is a major blow to Al Qaeda and other terrorists.”
The State Department also relied on Terror Free Tomorrow public opinion surveys as an independent benchmark for evaluating the success of American foreign policy. In the State Department’s FY 2005 Performance and Accountability Report, Terror Free Tomorrow polling served as the standard for measuring the effectiveness of certain US government policies around the world (See e.g. “Strategic Goal for Public Diplomacy—Performance Results”).
15. What Are Editorial Boards Saying About Terror Free Tomorrow?
The Wall Street Journal:
“America's popularity in Indonesia has risen dramatically in the past year -- Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and Halliburton notwithstanding. That's the conclusion of a remarkable poll conducted last month [February 2006] for the Washington-based NGO, Terror Free Tomorrow. Since 2003, the number of Indonesians with a favorable view of the U.S. has nearly tripled, to 44% from 15%.... The proximate cause for the changed Indonesian outlook has been U.S. relief efforts following the December 2004 tsunami.”
The Christian Science Monitor:
Citing Terror Free Tomorrow’s poll after American tsunami relief, the lead editorial concludes: “The reaction in Indonesia to the visible American effort was very positive…. There was a similar rise of approval for the US in Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake there. A poll by the nonprofit Terror Free Tomorrow organization showed that, as a result of the relief operation, favorable opinion of the US in Pakistan jumped from 23 percent in 2005 to more than 46 percent by the end of that year. Both Indonesia and Pakistan are Muslim, but non-Arab, countries. Their direction could offer a meaningful example to other Arab countries in the Islamic world.... [W]hen the US is engaged in a critical war of words with terrorists and would-be terrorists in the Islamic world, such no-strings humanitarian aid plays a role in generating a more positive image of Americans and their government.”
Citing Terror Free Tomorrow’s work as evidence, the Editorial Board of USA Today concludes: “Reaching people on a human level was once a larger part of U.S. policy... By leading with its values and again becoming a beacon of hope in the developing world, the United States could advance both the search for bin Laden and the battle against his hateful ideology.”
16. And Leading Commentators?
Peter Beinart in The Good Fight:
Citing Terror Free Tomorrow in his final chapter, Beinart writes that U.S. assistance to Indonesia after the tsunami “transformed America’s image in Indonesia. Even more remarkably, it undermined support for Osama bin Laden. In 2005, post-tsunami Indonesia became the first major Muslim country to ever register plurality support for the U.S. war on terror [and] represents one of our greatest victories yet over jihad.”
Peter Brookes in The New York Post:
“Military operations against terrorism are essential in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, but Islamic extremism will be defeated as much — if not more — in the Muslim heart and mind as on the battlefield. So, at least, suggests a new Pakistani survey. The Pakistan branch of ACNielsen did the poll for the D.C.-based nonprofit Terror Free Tomorrow. The key finding: Pakistan — long a hotbed of terrorism and extremism, and still the suspected hiding place for Osama bin Laden, and other senior terrorist leaders — now holds the United States in higher regard than at any time since 9/11.”
Helle Dale in The Washington Times:
"At the Heritage Foundation, the non-profit group Terror Free Tomorrow published the results of the first post-tsunami public opinion poll of Indonesian attitudes toward the United States and the war of terror. The results were, as the group's president Kenneth Ballen noted, nothing less than amazing. 'This is a stunning turnaround for the United States in the fight against terrorism,' he said. 'It is the first major shift in Muslim public opinion since September 11.' Terror Free Tomorrow advocates thorough opinion polling throughout the Muslim world to identify specifics and trends in anti-American sentiment. If we are to engage in effective public diplomacy, that kind of information is invaluable, and we need lots more of it."
Morton Kondracke in Roll Call:
“A widely publicized poll by Terror Free Tomorrow, whose advisory board includes Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Reps. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) and Tom Foley (D-Wash.), found that tsunami relief cut Indonesian popular opposition to the U.S. war on terror… TFT’s executive director, Ken Ballen, a former aide to Hamilton, told me “The United States is indeed helping Pakistan, but much more needs to be done, given the scale of the disaster and the strategic importance of the world’s second-largest and only nuclear-armed Muslim nation…. If we are serious about truly confronting what President Bush rightly called ‘the murderous ideology’ of radical Islamists, then we must also take the concrete steps required to weaken support for the radicals among the people themselves.”
Other editorials citing Terror Free Tomorrow include Peter Bergen and Jim Hoagland in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune, The Hill and The New England Journal of Medicine.
17. Why should I support Terror Free Tomorrow?
In less than two years, Terror Free Tomorrow has been successful in helping the United States gain positive results in the fight against terror. You can support America’s military leaders such as the Navy’s top officer Admiral Mullen, and help Terror Free Tomorrow promote victory against global terrorists by defeating the popular support that empowers them.
18. How do I help Terror Free Tomorrow?
With your support, we can empower even greater change.
You may contribute online at http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org/supportus.php or mail your donation to Terror Free Tomorrow, PO Box 5704, Washington, DC 20016.
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