Monday, June 30, 2008

About that legacy George...

Amid Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan

In case you somehow got the idea that things were going well in the war on terror, the New York Times was kind enough today to provide a reality check.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush committed the nation to a “war on terrorism” and made the destruction of Mr. bin Laden’s network the top priority of his presidency. But it is increasingly clear that the Bush administration will leave office with Al Qaeda having successfully relocated its base from Afghanistan to Pakistan’s tribal areas, where it has rebuilt much of its ability to attack from the region and broadcast its messages to militants across the world.
Though now that I think about it, maybe the Times has been too harsh on Mr. Bush's efforts. George has said he's working really really hard on this terrorism thing and he's a honest, straight shooter. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and just look at what's supposedly so damaging about this report.

Maybe al Qaeda has reformed in Pakistan, but surely we have all the necessary field agents there tracking them down and putting them on the run.
One reason for this, according to two former intelligence officials directly involved in the Qaeda hunt, was that by 2006 the Iraq war had drained away most of the C.I.A. officers with field experience in the Islamic world. “You had a very finite number” of experienced officers, said one former senior intelligence official. “Those people all went to Iraq. We were all hurting because of Iraq.”
Well we need those CIA officers to, uh, hunt down all those top global al Qaeda guys that are in Iraq. There aren't any, you say? Well.....uh.....who believes what David Petraeus says anyway?

Surely then, we at least have the resources to carry out what strikes and counter-terrorism actions we need in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Current and former military and intelligence officials said that the war in Iraq consistently diverted resources and high-level attention from the tribal areas. When American military and intelligence officials requested additional Predator drones to survey the tribal areas, they were told no drones were available because they had been sent to Iraq.
Ouch. Maybe what we do isn't so critical, what we really need is for Pakistan and Pervez Musharraf to take the lead. They know the area, they know the people, they know how to solve the problem.
To get Washington’s attention, the commander, Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, ordered military officers, Special Operations forces and C.I.A. operatives to assemble a dossier showing Pakistan’s role in allowing militants to establish a haven.

Behind the general’s order was a broader feeling of outrage within the military — at a terrorist war that had been outsourced to an unreliable ally, and at the grim fact that America’s most deadly enemy had become stronger.
But surely that call was a wakeup to all the Bush admi...
When General Eikenberry presented his dossier to several members of Mr. Bush’s cabinet, some inside the State Department and the C.I.A. dismissed the briefing as exaggerated and simplistic.
Ok, that one was kind of a kick to the gut. Uhhhh, let me think for a minute.

Maybe by some sort of voodoo or other types of unholy black magics, we have divined where bin Laden is hiding so we don't need all the field officers, soldiers, equipment, intelligence, or help and co-operation of Pakistan.
But while Mr. Bush vowed early on that Mr. bin Laden would be captured “dead or alive,” the moment in late 2001 when Mr. bin Laden and his followers escaped at Tora Bora was almost certainly the last time the Qaeda leader was in American sights, current and former intelligence officials say. Leading terrorism experts have warned that it is only a matter of time before a major terrorist attack planned in the mountains of Pakistan is carried out on American soil.
Shit. Just remember, if any attack does happen, that's good for Republicans.

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