The short version:
In the tactical phase, the US administration gave in to its basest instincts, killed a lot of towelheads, and just about trashed everything it could (international law, the US Constitution, relations with friends). Somehow, it has noticed that this is not working - and the oil is not even flowing.
So we move to the strategic phase, we beg the French, who are not hated so much over there, to help talk to whoever's still alive to kindly ask them to be nice to us?
The very short version:
Bush "I have lost the WOT. Please heeelp me!"
Quotes from the actual article below...
US shifts anti-terror policy
The US is working with Britain and France to undermine the appeal of Muslim extremism by reaching out to moderate groups, in a sign that its counter-terrorism strategy is moving beyond the "war on terror".
US and European officials say the Bush administration's review--expected to lead to a formal declaration of a new national strategy--represents not just a shift to a more multilateralist approach towards foreign policy but also an important development in thinking away from the emphasis on the military.
So, "away from the military" - this is not a war anymore. Who made fun of John "this is primarily a matter of law enforcement" Kerry and the similarly minded Europeans? And who is going to tell the "services"?
Inquiry exposes rifts between UK and US intelligence agencies
The worldwide investigation into the bombings has led to subtle cracks in the close relationship between British and US law enforcement agencies - cracks exacerbated by past differences in investigative approaches - officials on both sides of the Atlantic said.
One UK official said co-operation between US and UK intelligence officials over the London bombings had been "superb". But he said the UK had a different view of the war on terrorism than the US.
"One of the distinguishing characteristics of [the US] is that they think they are at war, and we don't. It is very difficult to persuade people in London, even after the bombings, that there's a war on. This is a big psychological difference."
So, ther's a war on, but not to be fought with the military. This is so confusing. Are the military with us or against us?
(back to the first article)
Already a shift in language has emerged that reflects the new approach. GWOT "the global war on terror" is being replaced in pronouncements by senior US officials by SAVE: the "struggle [or some say "strategy"] against violent extremism".
Mr Zelikow's goal, according to a US official who asked not to be named, was to "develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to discredit and demystify extremists' ideology and promote moderate Islamic voices".
A former senior intelligence official who served in the Bush administration commented: "Conviction has been growing steadily and strongly here that we needed to come out of the tactical phase of this war and into a strategic phase which would include this outreach to the Muslim world and it would make sense to structure this some way with a couple of allies, particularly the French, who understand that world so well."
So, Bush wants to "understand" turrists, er, sorry, Muslims, and wants the help of the French to do it. Flip-flop? Treason? Or "only" hubris?
It's so easy to be gloating about this that it's sad in a way. Now, the cat is out of the bag.
Muslims around the world are pissed. They have seen several tens of thousands of their co-religionists slaughtered in Iraq; they have seen the US trample its supposed values by torturing people around the world and standing by such policies; they have noted that the US are still supporting the failed regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia; they have noted that the only way to influence US policy is by destruction and mayhem, not international diplomacy. Many that were moderates or politically neutral to the West have been shocked by the treatment of Iraqis and others in the past few years, and now hate us with a vengeance. Immigrants in our countries, unhappy with their precarious economic and social situation here, treated with growing suspicion, are feeling a growing affinity with their "oppressed brothers", a number of them turn to radical Islam, and some of them to outright terrorism.
We are all left with the legacy of large scale terrorism as a weapon of choice for a rapidly growing number of disaffected groups in a number of countries in the underbelly of Eurasia, with a limitless supply of recruits, and Europe is on the front lines. And yes, we directly caused it by our disproportionate response.
So yes, Europe will cooperate, and try to reach out to moderates, because that's the only sensible thing to do. And we will keep on helping the FBI and other DHS agencies by providing information and analysis on the various groups, as has been done without a hitch since 9/11.
It would have been nice if the White House had done that (focusing on that information flow and that outreach effort) 4 years ago, instead of throwibng massive amounts of fuel on the fire in the meantime.
But we can note today's political message - Bush admits he has lost the War on Terror and is begging the sissy Europeans for help.