Flypaper Revisited

Well, that approach worked well:

The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States…

The report makes clear that al-Qaida in Iraq, which has not yet posed a direct threat to U.S. soil, could become a problem here.

“Of note,” the analysts said, “we assess that al-Qaida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the homeland.”

The analysts also found that al-Qaida’s association with its Iraqi affiliate helps the group to energize the broader Sunni Muslim extremist community, raise resources and recruit and indoctrinate operatives—”including for homeland attacks.”

I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that history will not be kind to this administration.

5 Responses to “Flypaper Revisited”

  1. geoff Says:

    I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that history will not be kind to this administration.

    Perhaps not as unkind as you fear (from the first page of the NIE):

    We assess that greatly increased worldwide counterterrorism efforts over the past five years have constrained the ability of al-Qa’ida to attack the US Homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the Homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11. These measures have helped disrupt known plots against the United States since 9/11.

  2. PatrickP Says:

    The report makes clear that al-Qaida in Iraq, which has not yet posed a direct threat to U.S. soil, could become a problem here.

    Oh, so it’s “al-Qaida in Iraq” that is now the problem and not just plain old al-Qaida which has already been a “problem” here? Is that right?

  3. Zeno Says:

    More on flypaper: San Diego Union columnist Ruben Navarrette just explained in his latest article that “the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq serves as a magnet for drawing terrorists from all over the world”, which supposedly prevents the terrorists from plotting to attack us on U.S. soil. Oops! Somehow al-Qaeda regained its pre-9/11 strength despite our supposedly pinning down all terrorists in Iraq. I guess flypaper doesn’t work very well on terrorism.

  4. Robin Roberts Says:

    The report does not say that Al Queda has regained its prewar strength. What the report says is that Al Queda is stronger than its been since being largely kicked out of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. That is far different.

  5. geoff Says:

    San Diego Union columnist Ruben Navarrette just explained in his latest article that “the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq serves as a magnet for drawing terrorists from all over the world”,

    Then Ruben Navarrette is a little slow on the uptake – everybody else heard the explanation more than 3 years ago.

    Somehow al-Qaeda regained its pre-9/11 strength despite our supposedly pinning down all terrorists in Iraq

    Robin’s rebuttal was absolutely correct. Using Richard Clarke’s slightly useful analysis as a base, we can infer that the *real* story is that Al Qaeda is stronger than it was last year, when the assessment was that it was on the run. Why is it stronger? Has nothing to do with “flypaper” or any other US strategy – it’s due to Musharraf’s treaty with the Taliban.

    Given that these guys are hunkered down in Pakistan, where we are allowed only a deniable presence, the only way to get to them is to lure them out. Flypaper is one way to do that. I encourage you to think of others – that would be more constructive than flinging poo at the administration.

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