Thursday, April 24, 2008

Assessing the War on (t)error

So it seems the main conclusion of a recent GAO report entitled "Combating Terrorism: The United States lacks Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federal Administered Tribal Areas" is:

7 years and 10.5 billion dollars later, the US hasn't removed the threat of al-Qaeda, so much as relocated it...
The NIE, The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland, also found that al-Qaeda had effectively found replacements for many of its senior operational planners over the years. The NIE stated that, in the past 2 years, al Qaeda’s central leadership regenerated the core operational capabilities needed to conduct attacks against the United States. It also found that al Qaeda’s central leadership, based in the border area of Pakistan, is and will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the United States.

The 2008 DNI Annual Threat Assessment and other sources have concluded that the resurgence of al Qaeda terrorists on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan now pose a preeminent threat to U.S. national security. The assessment also examines the impact of not meeting the national security goals. It states that al Qaeda is now using the Pakistani safe haven to put the last element necessary to launch another attack against America into place, including the identification, training, and positioning of Western operatives for an attack. It stated that al Qaeda is most likely using the FATA to plot terrorist attacks against political, economic, and infrastructure targets in America “designed to produce mass casualties, visually dramatic destruction, significant economic aftershocks, and/or fear among the population.”

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