A British think tank, International Institute for Strategic Studies, says the United States will find that nation-building and economic assistance are just as important as military power in winning the war against terrorism.
The annual "strategic survey" of the London-based institute analyzes the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks of last September.
The study says that, while the United States has concentrated on the military campaign against terrorists, it also should pursue sustained diplomacy and economic aid to address the root cause of terrorism in Islamic countries.
U.S. officials have been skeptical about the United States trying to reform the economic and social systems in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.
However, the institute's survey says that, if the United States refuses to help build national institutions in places like Afghanistan, it could result in what the report calls "a gross case of strategic negligence."
The director of the institute, John Chipman, also says the United States must be more active in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "In light of the U.S. determination to prosecute its campaign against terror effectively, and to create conditions abroad that drain support from terrorist activity, the delay in producing a peace plan for the Middle East cannot be justified much longer," he said.
Mr. Chipman says that a settlement in the Middle East, followed by a government change in Iraq, could have the same impact on Arab nations as did the collapse of the Berlin Wall on Europe.