Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Iraq War Hurting Overall War On Terror
WASHINGTON - Despite President Bush's repeated warnings that al-Qaida wants to turn Iraq into a base from which to attack the United States, administration terrorism experts believe there's a graver and more immediate threat from Pakistan's tribal areas. But the war in Iraq is constraining the president's ability to respond.
An intelligence assessment given to Congress, together with a new policy review calling for more troops and funding for civilian programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, point to the Bush administration's growing dilemma: how to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time.
At a closed Senate committee hearing last week, administration officials devoted more time to the sanctuary that al-Qaida and its Taliban allies have secured in the lawless Pakistani region than they did to the terrorist network's threat to Iraq, according to U.S. officials familiar with the session.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on terrorist havens was held behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration recently concluded a strategic internal review on U.S. policy in Afghanistan. It called for stanching the flow of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters from Pakistan, boosting foreign troops and increasing aid for reconstruction and Afghan security forces before an expected Taliban offensive this spring.
It's a shame that they didn't think about this problem BEFORE they trumped up the bullshit reasons to invade Iraq.