Here is the title of a report from the Government Accountability Office on combating terrorism released today:
The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
That is not some line buried in the report. That is the title. Wow.
This GAO report may be the most damning condemnation of the Bush administration's counter-terrorism efforts. The report goes on to say that the Bush administration has failed to develop any plan to address the Al Qaeda threat. Worse, the report finds that Al Qaeda is now able to attack the United States and represents the "most serious" threat to this country.
The report's opinion of the Bush administration efforts speaks for itself:
The United States has not met its national security goals to destroy the terrorist threat and close the safe haven in Pakistan...
Not only have we not met our goals but we have no plan to meet our goals:
No comprehensive plan for meeting U.S. national security goals in the FATA has been developed, as stipulated by the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism (2003), called for by an independent commission (2004), and mandated by congressional legislation (2007). Furthermore, Congress created the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) in 2004 specifically to develop comprehensive plans to combat terrorism. However, neither the National Security Council (NSC), NCTC, nor other executive branch departments have developed a comprehensive plan that includes all elements of national power--diplomatic, military, intelligence, development assistance, economic, and law enforcement support--called for by the various national security strategies and Congress.
Al Qaeda can now attack the United States:
"we found broad agreement, as documented in the unclassified 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), State and embassy documents, as well as among Defense, State, and other officials, including those operating in Pakistan, that al Qaeda had regenerated its ability to attack the United States and had succeeded in establishing a safe haven in Pakistan"
Al Qaeda in Pakistan is the most serious threat:
al Qaeda's central leadership, based in the border area of Pakistan, is and will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the United States... al Qaeda is now using the Pakistani safe haven to put the last element necessary to launch another attack against America into place...
Al Qaeda is using the Pakistan tribal areas to put the finishing touches on its plans to attack the United States. A DNI assessment from earlier in 2008 reports troubling findings:
al Qaeda is now using the Pakistani safe haven to put the last element necessary to launch another attack against America into place, including the identification, training, and positioning of Western operatives for an attack. It stated that al Qaeda is most likely using the FATA to plot terrorist attacks against political, economic, and infrastructure targets in America "designed to produce mass casualties, visually dramatic destruction, significant economic aftershocks, and/or fear among the population."
It is really not a good thing to have incompetent people running this country.