America’s Failing War Effort (Part 6 of 12): The Breeding Grounds

by | Nov 24, 2003

So far we have evaluated America’s policies toward its declared enemies, those governments which have openly announced their hostility toward the United States. But there is another category of nations, whose governments profess to support the American war, but which fail to take the steps needed to eliminate support for terrorism within their own ranks […]

So far we have evaluated America’s policies toward its declared enemies, those governments which have openly announced their hostility toward the United States. But there is another category of nations, whose governments profess to support the American war, but which fail to take the steps needed to eliminate support for terrorism within their own ranks and on their own territory. We will examine Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as leading examples of this category, but a similar discussion could easily be extended to Egypt and Indonesia.

On the face of it, the United States has enjoyed some decent success on this front. With the assistance of the intelligence of foreign governments in this category, the United States has captured hundreds of individual terrorists, including high profile figures such as Khalid Shaik Mohammed of Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Riduan Isamuddin (a.k.a. Hambali) of Jemaah Islamiah in Indonesia. Through successes like these, the Al Qaeda network of terrorists has been dispersed, and has so far been unable to mount even a single terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.

While this success has reflected positively upon the American intelligence establishment, there is only so much that American intelligence can do when foreign governments default on their own responsibilities to destroy terrorist networks in their midst. Because there are simple ways the United States could encourage these governments to do so, and because the Bush administration has refused to consider them, we assign it a C- for this category. The fact of limited intelligence success, and the fact that options for outright war with these governments are less obvious, saved this grade from being lower.

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