Delusional Times' al Qaeda strategy

Riehl Word View:

It's difficult to know what one is suppose to make of this New York Times editorial: Al Qaeda Resurgent.

As pointed out at The Moderate Voice:

What if, as is highly probable, reversing al Qaeda’s comeback requires the U.S. to bomb its training camps in Pakistan? Even if Musharaff were to approve in private, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that he would in public.

The Times blames Bush for removing troops from Afghanistan and sending them to Iraq as the reason for this so-called resurgence. And talk about begging the question, we have nothing but the Times opinion that both Iraq and Afghanistan are unwinnable. Both are ultimately winnable, assuming America stays the course.

At a crucial moment, the Bush administration diverted America’s military strength, political attention and foreign aid dollars from a necessary, winnable war in Afghanistan to an unnecessary, and by now unwinnable, war in Iraq. Al Qaeda took full advantage of these blunders to survive and rebuild. Now it seems to be back in business.

And as they themselves point out, Afghanistan isn't the principle problem as regards Al Qaeda, Pakistan is.

Al Qaeda has rebuilt its notorious training camps, this time in Pakistan’s loosely governed tribal regions near the Afghan border. Camp graduates are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq — and may well be plotting new terrorist strikes in the West.

Amazing that editorialist's who warn of initiating a confrontation with Iran suddenly think any number of US troops could have simply flooded over the Afghan-Pakistan border to dispatch Al Qaeda on a whim, particularly as that region represents some of the deadliest fighting terrain for an organized army known to man.


If the NY Times thinks Al Qaeda arrived in Somalia during the Bush administration, they were either high, or more likely working for Clinton during the decade before. What the Times fails to grasp is that, in many ways, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Somalia matter very little, so long as there is a next nation state ripe for Al Qaeda to move into and start to build organization. And the effort Bush is undertaking in Iraq is designed to ultimately result in the ending of that very thing.


The arguments put forward by the NY Times are diversions from reality. The reason that the Taliban and al Qaeda are setting up camp in Pakistan is because they were defeated in Afghanistan. They were in fact defeated in Afghanistan before we liberated Iraq and their attempts to reassert themselves in Afghanistan have been defeated to date, but you can bet that if the times were not desperate for defeat in Iraq they would be quagmiring in Afghanistan. It should be blindingly obvious that the problems in Pakistan reflect the success of our operations in Afghanistan. The real question should be whether we will permit al Qaeda to maintain sanctuaries in Pakistan and what are the Paks going to do about it.


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