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  • azalphainvestor azalphainvestor Jun 30, 2008 1:37 PM Flag

    Pakistan & Al Qaeda's Resurgence

    The truth about Bush & Co's fiasco with Mushareff and Pakistan may even be sadder than the Iraq Misadventure. Imagine what an administration with some smarts could have done with the nearly Trillion US$ spent in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan:

    <The story of how Al Qaeda, whose name is Arabic for “the base,” has gained a new haven is in part a story of American accommodation to President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, whose advisers played down the terrorist threat. It is also a story of how the White House shifted its sights, beginning in 2002, from counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to preparations for the war in Iraq.

    Just as it had on the day before 9/11, Al Qaeda now has a band of terrorist camps from which to plan and train for attacks against Western targets, including the United States. Officials say the new camps are smaller than the ones the group used prior to 2001. However, despite dozens of American missile strikes in Pakistan since 2002, one retired C.I.A. officer estimated that the makeshift training compounds now have as many as 2,000 local and foreign militants, up from several hundred three years ago.

    Publicly, senior American and Pakistani officials have said that the creation of a Qaeda haven in the tribal areas was in many ways inevitable — that the lawless badlands where ethnic Pashtun tribes have resisted government control for centuries were a natural place for a dispirited terrorism network to find refuge. The American and Pakistani officials also blame a disastrous cease-fire brokered between the Pakistani government and militants in 2006.

    But more than four dozen interviews in Washington and Pakistan tell another story. American intelligence officials say that the Qaeda hunt in Pakistan, code-named Operation Cannonball by the C.I.A. in 2006, was often undermined by bitter disagreements within the Bush administration and within the C.I.A., including about whether American commandos should launch ground raids inside the tribal areas.

    Inside the C.I.A., the fights included clashes between the agency’s outposts in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Islamabad. There were also battles between field officers and the Counterterrorist Center at C.I.A. headquarters, whose preference for carrying out raids remotely, via Predator missile strikes, was derided by officers in the Islamabad station as the work of “boys with toys.”

    An early arrangement that allowed American commandos to join Pakistani units on raids inside the tribal areas was halted in 2003 after protests in Pakistan. Another combat mission that came within hours of being launched in 2005 was scuttled because some C.I.A. officials in Pakistan questioned the accuracy of the intelligence, and because aides to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld believed that the mission force had become too large.

    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.

    Some former officials say Mr. Bush should have done more to confront Mr. Musharraf, by aggressively demanding that he acknowledge the scale of the militant threat.

    Western military officials say Mr. Musharraf was instead often distracted by his own political problems, and effectively allowed militants to regroup by brokering peace agreements with them.>

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/washington/30tribal.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    alpha

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    • Fibs.. Whatever your drinking today should be outlawed. Its certainly alot worse than beer or is it just stronger. I take it alcohol is drug of choice.

      And unlike you apparently I am aware of the current situation in Iraq. And while it is certainly improved, one should not be giddy. The cost in lives and $$$ is outlandish. We are paying the Sunnii militants and many an Iraqi war lord millions for relative peace. Most tof the ethnic cleansing is a fait accompli. And no pro US political party is anywhere in sight.

      And dont forget the further cost of our drunken sailor spending of over a trillion in Iraq has been the resurrection of al qaeda and the taliban on the border of afganistan and Pakistan. Perhaps you were Alice in another life.

      alpha

    • QWAK,dawn,the USSR IMPLODED due to DEBT it could not pay because the system was SO CORRUPTED!

      The USA did the SAME thing -- WE just had BETTER CREDIT so "IT" took LONGER! ;)

      When the US DOLLAR crashes it will take down the GLOBAL FIAT system.

      The WMDs were sent to Iraq and they were US DOLLARS!

      The faults we so easaly percieve in OTHERS we some how over look when we percieve our selves and "IT" don't take TRICK photograpgy or a computer either! LOL

      the DUCK

    • So stop acting like a beer-sotted sophomore and prove me wrong alf.

      Very few, if any, of our past military conflicts were undertaken casually, or by one person, and certainly not those in Iraq or Afghanistan.

      I think one the many things that undoubtedly/should keep you awake nights is the fear the mainstream news media will get away from their Baghdad digs and report what is happening in Iraq now.

      DiB

    • Fibs.. Or should I call you Lewis Carrol. Your view that Bush Iraq Misadventure, Mushareff heist and the War on Islamofascist Terror as succesful doesnt set the bar low. It completely turns reality on its head. Are you really such a Con that you think such lies will convince any. I suspect even your fellow wing nutz here will find such a view utter nonsense.

      alpha

    • Given my words have supported what the U.S. is trying to do vis-a-vis terrorism, I wonder why you would choose me for that question.

      Having said that, I think there is a military piece, which is where we have focused here.

      I also think thoughts can be expressed, but many of them are not-so-subtly designed to cause us to weaken/surrender our goals before important work is done.

      And it is simple to expound on the various pieces helpful to achieving the goals, but gathering them in the right mix at the right time is more important, along with judging when to act even if all pieces are not where we would wish.

      We seem to have a surfeit of second-guessers and Monday-morning quarterbacks, but few who will take the serious flack coming with the tough decisions. I don't think the current administration has been justly credited for doing what was necessary, nor for the continuing successes.

      DiB

    • We should dedicate resources to our fundamental needs, with our survival as a sovereign nation being arguably the top priority, but you will not see agreement.

      Many simply don't care about such things (apathy, inability to believe threats are serious, inability to understand not all reconciliations can come with a hug, etc.), others know dollars for security do not buy them votes/power; therefore, security expenditure should be obstinately opposed.

      With the fall of the USSR, we did not get away entirely from proxy wars. Our fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq would decline quickly if countries such as Iran were not actively supporting our enemies there. The unremittent reference by alf, etc. to costs, and repeated statements that WMD were not found, and we can retreat to our peaceful soil, caters to our enemies and weakens us for superficial and selfish reasons.

      alf-types could sink their own boat with no protest from me; however, we are all in the boat together.

      DiB

    • Mr Dawn,

      "Mullen explained, “Just about every move in that part of the world is a high-risk move. And that's why I think it's so important that the international piece, the financial piece, the diplomatic piece, the economic piece be brought to bear with a level of intensity that resolves this.”

      Concerning Iran, It appears that Admiral Mullen, understands the broad range of strengths that go into "commitment"! Do You?

    • I note Fibs you completely avoided the post invasion Trillion cost and the reality that we are Nation Building Iraq. Of course you use the fear mongering and dubious claim that Iraq could become another Iran or Syria. Get serious. A trillion dollars and counting and we have NO.. thats right NO reason to believe that dubious danger is any less possible today. And in the mean time we are weaker as a nation, our economy is in deep cacaa, a barrel of oil has nearly quadrupled in price and the dollar is about half the value it was when W took office. I think you need to learn alot about US national security.

      alpha

    • "So, in view of limited funds, where do we place our highest priorities? It would seem obvious that governmental responsibilities written into the Constitution should be viewed as both most important to us and mandated by our highest laws. They should therefore be priority one, and American citizens should recognize this to be tru"


      Now really sir! Your wordsmithing is admirable, but you really have said nothing of import concerning the subject. We are at war! Will society rally to support and pay for that war, or will we relax on our rich duffs and merely invest in the winners?

      Come now! Please accept responsibility and quit the lofty pro-nouncements. Will we, or will we not, pay for this war now or will we leave it to our children.

    • As with the initial military actions, even dem leaders understand preemptory withdrawal at this point would likely cause Iraq to be lost to, or go the way of, such as Ahmadinijad/Iran and Assad/Syria, and would almost certainly provide another base for continued al Qaeda operations against world democracies.

      Even though Barry has said he would withdraw our forces quickly after becoming President, you might note he is downplaying that now, and many agree those were "NAFTA words"; i.e., for political consumption only.

      Would you suggest we return to a "always absorb the next blow" style of terrorist defense(?)

      DiB

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