Looks like President Obama will be escalating the war on terror/war against Islamist extremists….just like that crazy ol’ George Bush. Well maybe the former president wasn’t so crazy after all with all this “war on terror” stuff; and now that the D team is in the White House, they’re experiencing a reality check, that just maybe global warming isn’t the #1 threat to civilization [Hat tip: Steve Schippert]:
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the need to prevent a repeat of the September 11 attacks has become the driving force behind the review, which could be published as early as this week.
Mr Riedel, who served on the NSC under three previous presidents, believes that unless serious action is taken, Pakistan will become a “terrorist university”, posing a far greater threat to the security of the US and Europe than Afghanistan before the September 11 atrocities.
Recent “apocalyptic” intelligence on the situation in Pakistan has sent shockwaves through the upper echelons of the Obama administration and convinced Mr Riedel’s review team that radicals trained in Pakistan are the greatest threat to Western security.
One White House aide emerged from an intelligence briefing on Pakistan three days after Mr Obama’s inauguration to exclaim: “Holy s–t!”
Predator drones will be winning hearts and minds by stepping up attacks on Taliban targets within the Pakistan border. and has done so as recently as this past weekend. So far, since President Obama took office, the U.S. has conducted 9 reported airstrikes in Pakistan’s tribal northwest area.
Back to the Telegraph:
A source who knows the substance of the White House policy review discussions said: “Bruce is on record saying that a failed state in Pakistan is America’s ‘worst nightmare’ in the 21st century.
“What we’ve been seeing in recent weeks is truly apocalyptic warnings from the analysts, which suggest that that is now a live possibility. The Pakistani government seems unable to control its own military or intelligence people. The tribal areas are already a failed state and a safe haven for terrorists.
“If that spreads the whole country will become a terrorist university. The chance of a spectacular in the US, or Britain, is exponentially increased. And Pakistan has nuclear weapons.”
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph in January Mr Riedel argued that British al-Qaeda or Lakshar-e-Taiba militants, trained in Pakistan, are the likeliest source of a new terrorist spectacular in America.
The threat from Pakistan was a centrepiece of discussions between Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, and US Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano in Washington on Friday. Ms Smith also met Robert Mueller, the head of the FBI, who has publicly voiced fears about British-born Pakistani militants entering the US under the visa waiver scheme.
Amid fears that Pakistani militants have already entered the US to radicalise and recruit terrorist cells, US officials have been invited to visit the UK to observe the Home Office’s anti-radicalisation programme.
A British diplomat said that British and American intelligence experts have concluded that while Pakistan used to be blamed for destabilising Afghanistan, the process has now been reversed and risks plunging the nuclear power into lethal chaos.
The US official agreed: “Everyone’s calling it the Af-Pak report, but really it ought to be Pak-Af.” US intelligence reports have expressed concern about the recent decision of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to allow militants to set up Shariah law in the strategic Swat Valley in the tribal areas of the northwest frontier.
The Riedel review will conclude that seven out of 10 Taliban and other militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan are “reconcilables” who might be bribed, cajoled and persuaded to turn away from extremism.
As Jihad Watch warns:
The Taliban who might come to negotiate may think twice about dying in an airstrike, but not at all about the ultimate imperative to impose Islamic law by any means necessary.
“Moderate Taliban” sounds like an oxymoronic term. But yeah, if there are reconcilables amongst them, let’s bribe them off so that they can live to radicalize another day while we slaughter their dead-ender brothers-in-fanaticism.
The review, due to be circulated to senior officials early this week, will recommend that non-military aid to Pakistan quadruple. In return, the Pakistani government will be expected to agree to a wholesale overhaul of its military which will see US special forces re-train Pakistani soldiers in counter insurgency warfare.
The army is currently configured to fight a conventional war with India. The US has 200 special forces ready to deploy and there is even talk of taking Pakistani officers to training camps in the US.
CIA and FBI chiefs are also demanding greater cooperation from Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency in locating militants in the region and potential terrorists who may already have travelled to the US.
President Obama will explain his new approach to Afghanistan at the Nato summit in Strasbourg next month. The Riedel review is recommending increased payments to Afghan tribal chiefs and moves to improve economic development and a clamp down on corruption in the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai., European nations, excluding Britain, will be asked to help train the Afghan armed forces.
Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a co-chair of the Riedel review, has warned that “there is no way that the international effort in Afghanistan can succeed unless Pakistan can get its western tribal areas under control”.
David Miliband, Britain’s foreign secretary, appears to agree with the expected conclusions of the Riedel review. In an interview last week he said that Pakistan’s government needs to realise that it is not just the West that is threatened by the militants, but its very own survival that is at stake. “The situation in Pakistan is extremely dangerous,” he said. “I would say it’s very grave. I think Pakistan faces a mortal threat, not from India, but from domestic terrorism.”
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.