Written by Jim Kouri
April 22, 2008
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Since 2002, destroying the terrorist threat and closing the terrorist safe haven have been key national security goals.
For example, the United States has provided Pakistan, a key ally in the war on terror, more than $10.5 billion for military, economic, and development activities. Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which border Afghanistan, are vast unpoliced regions attractive to extremists and terrorists seeking a safe haven.
The United States has not met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA. Since 2002, the United States relied principally on Pakistan's military to address US national security goals within their borders.
Of the approximately $5.8 billion the United States provided for efforts in the FATA and border region from 2002 through 2007, about 96 percent reimbursed Pakistan for military operations there. According to the Department of State, Pakistan deployed 120,000 military and paramilitary forces in the FATA and helped kill and capture hundreds of suspected Al Qaeda operatives; these efforts cost the lives of approximately 1,400 members of Pakistan's security forces.
However, members of the US Congress found broad agreement, as documented in the National Intelligence Estimate, State, and embassy documents, as well as Defense officials in Pakistan, that al Qaeda had regenerated its ability to attack the United States and had succeeded in establishing a safe haven in Pakistan's FATA.
(CIA FACTBOOK MAP:Click on Map for Facts)
No comprehensive plan for meeting US 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.
As a result, since 2002, the U.S. embassy in Pakistan has had no Washington-supported, comprehensive plan to combat terrorism and close the terrorist safe haven in the FATA. In 2006, the embassy, in conjunction with Defense, State, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and in cooperation with the government of Pakistan, began an effort to focus more attention on other key elements of national power, such as development assistance and public diplomacy, to address U.S. goals in the FATA.
However, according to counterterrorism experts, this does not yet constitute a comprehensive plan.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund's weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri's own website is located at http://jimkouri.us