Monday, March 05, 2007

The State of Al-Qaeda --
The Christian Science Monitor should be required reading if you want to keep up on the Middle East. Here is an article about the current state of Al-Qaeda and its possible resurgence under the Bush watch.

Some critics of the White House are surprised that many of the recent warnings about Al Qaeda come from administration officials. In essence, critics say, the White House confirms something they've long held to be true: the central front in the war on terror is along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, not in Iraq.

"We went to Iraq and left the serious terrorist problem to fester," Ms. Stern says.

On the subject of Iraq and Al Qaeda, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) estimates that less than 10 percent of the Iraqi insurgency consists of foreign fighters. Of those, most are suicide bombers.

Violence perpetrated by terrorists accounts for "only a fraction" of insurgent violence in Iraq, according to a written statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee by DIA director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples. The attacks have a disproportionate impact on Iraq's stability because of the high-profile nature of the terrorist operations and tactics, the DIA says.

Right now, Al-Qaeda has been diminished, its leadership decimated. But it shows growth potential and there doesn't seem to be anything that the U.S. can do to stop a committed Al-Qaeda leadership from rebuilding because we partly abandoned the Afghanistan theater to go galivanting in Iraq.
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