FACT SHEET | July 31, 2008
The Bush-Republican Record of Failure in Combating Global Terrorism
Nearly seven years after September 11, 2001, the United States and the world face a global terrorist threat that is as resilient and, in many ways, even more complex and dangerous than it was prior to the 9/11 attacks. According to our nation's 16 intelligence agencies, al Qaeda has fully reconstituted its core operational capacity, reopened terrorist training camps, and is actively plotting attacks against the United States and our interests around the world from a safe haven in the tribal region of Pakistan. National security experts and military and intelligence officials have assessed that al Qaeda terrorists represent the gravest threat to U.S. national security and warn that it is only a matter of time before another attack is carried out on American soil.
In addition to rebuilding its organization and enhancing its capacity to attack the United States homeland, as Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell reported in the 2008 Annual Threat Assessment, al Qaeda also has significantly expanded its worldwide operational and ideological reach over the past few years. New terrorist organizations have emerged and many existing networks have gained renewed strength, from al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa and Southeast Asia to "homegrown" extremists operating in many parts of Europe and even in the United States. While these organizations often draw resources and inspiration from al Qaeda, they primarily operate independently, making them more difficult to identify and defeat.
The resurgence of al Qaeda's central leadership, the dynamic growth of its organization, and the dramatic spread of the global terrorist threat in recent years was not inevitable. For much of 2001 and 2002, the United States was winning the fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. With unprecedented international support, we had dealt a serious blow to the terrorists' leadership, organization and ideology. That has changed in the past several years, largely due to the short-sighted policies and strategic failures of the Bush Administration: its war of choice in Iraq, its inadequate commitment to defeating the Taliban and securing and stabilizing Afghanistan, and its failure to adopt an effective strategy for combating al Qaeda and other global terrorist networks.
It is past time that the Bush Administration and its Republican allies in Congress change course to bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq, and focus on defeating our enemies in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and around the world - a course that Senate Democrats have consistently advocated for the past several years and a new direction that will truly make us safer.
The Bush Administration and its Republican Allies in Congress Are Failing on All of the Key Measures of Victory in the War on Terrorism
•The Bush Administration has failed to bring to justice the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks: 2,545 days after September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, and other key al Qaeda leaders remain free.
•The Bush Administration has failed tocombat the threat of al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist networks: the intelligence community and national security experts have assessed that al Qaeda has expanded its reach, regenerated its capabilities to pre-9/11 levels, and represents the gravest threat to America's national security.
•The Bush Administration has failed to reduce global terrorist attacks: the number of worldwide terrorist attacks has grown dramatically in the past several years.
•The Bush Administration has failed to stabilize and secure Afghanistan: independent reports warn that Afghanistan faces grave threats from resurgent terrorist violence, a burgeoning drug trade, a weak government, and faltering economy.
•The Bush Administration has failed to prevent the Taliban, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from gaining safe haven: the intelligence community has assessed al Qaeda has regained its safe haven in the tribal areas of Pakistan while the Taliban have assumed de facto control over a vast portion of eastern Afghanistan.
The Global Terrorist Threat Has Expanded Its Reach and Grown More Dangerous
The number of worldwide terrorist attacks has surged to record levels in recent years. After reaching a 20-year high in 2003, incidents of global terrorism have dramatically increased. Statistics from the National Counter-Terrorism Center show that the number of worldwide terrorist attacks has risen more than threefold in the past three years, from 3,194 attacks reported in 2004, to 14,499 in 2007. (State Department press briefing, 4/27/05; U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, 4/30/08)
Al Qaeda's central organization has regenerated its core capabilities and secured a new safe haven in the tribal region of Pakistan.In the July 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), our nation's 16 top intelligence agencies reported that al Qaeda "has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability, including a safehaven in the Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)." Further, it assessed that "Al Qaeda will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the Homeland, as its central leadership continues to plan high-impact plots." Experts warn that it is only a matter of time before terrorists operating in Pakistan launch an attack the United States. In March, CIA Director Michael Hayden stated that the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan represented a "clear and present danger to Afghanistan, to Pakistan and to the West in general, and to the United States in particular." (National Intelligence Estimate, July 2007; General Michael Hayden, Meet the Press, 3/30/08)
•According to Seth Jones, a Pentagon consultant and a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation, "The United States faces a threat from al Qaeda today that is comparable to what it faced on September 11, 2001...The base of operations has moved only a short distance, roughly the difference from New York to Philadelphia." (New York Times, 6/30/08)
•The New York Times recently reported that "Just as it had on the day before 9/11, al Qaeda now has a band of terrorist camps from which to plan and train for attacks against Western targets, including the United States. Officials say the new camps are smaller than the ones the group used prior to 2001. However, despite dozens of American missile strikes in Pakistan since 2002, one retired C.I.A. officer estimated that the makeshift training compounds now have as many as 2,000 local and foreign militants, up from several hundred three years ago." (New York Times, 6/30/08)
CIA officials have reported strengthened ties between Pakistan's intelligence agency and Taliban fighters operating along the border with Afghanistan.Today, the New York Times reported that a "top Central Intelligence Agency official traveled secretly to Islamabad this month to confront Pakistan's most senior officials with new information about ties between the country's powerful spy service and militants operating in Pakistan's tribal areas, according to American military and intelligence officials. The C.I.A. emissary presented evidence showing that members of the spy service had deepened their ties with some militant groups that were responsible for a surge of violence in Afghanistan, possibly including the suicide bombing this month of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, the officials said. The C.I.A. assessment specifically points to links between members of the spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and the militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which American officials believe maintains close ties to senior figures of Al Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas." (New York Times, 7/30/08)
Al Qaeda has effectively expanded its terrorist network over the past few years, evolving a more dynamic and resilient global movement.As Secretary Gates recently assessed, "al Qaeda at this point is a fairly dynamic movement. And it has - the way I would describe it is in some ways like a cancer. It's metastasized, and it's spread to other places, like al Qaeda in North Africa, the Maghreb, and al Qaeda in the Levant, and so on. And these groups, as best we can tell, have a fair amount of independence. They get inspiration, they get sometimes guidance, probably some training, probably some money from the al Qaeda leadership, but it's not...as centralized a movement as it was, say, in 2001. But in some ways, the fact that it has spread in the way that it has, in my view, makes it perhaps more dangerous." (Secretary Gates, Department of Defense News Briefing, 7/1/08)
•Al Qaeda has spawned new terrorist affiliates and empowered once-weak and nationalist insurgency groups into a global movement. As a recentNew York Times article reported, "Just as the Qaeda leadership has been able to reconstitute itself in Pakistan's ungoverned tribal areas, al Qaeda's North Africa offshoot is now running small training camps for militants from Morocco, Tunisia and as far away as Nigeria, according to the State Department and Mr. Droukdal [leader of the Algerian-based militant group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb]. The State Department in April categorized the tribal areas and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as the two top hot spots in its annual report on global terrorism." (New York Times, 7/1/08)
•Al Qaeda affiliates and homegrown groups inspired by its terrorist ideology have conducted attacks around the world. The Madrid bombings in March of 2004, four suicide bombings in London in July of 2005, the Mumbai bombings in July 2006, a series of deadly bombings in Algeria in 2007 and 2008, as well as the resurgent terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the continued insurgency in Iraq provide evidence the group's influence and strength. (Washington Post, 7/2/06; Christian Science Monitor, 12/11/07;New York Times, 7/1/08)
Afghanistan's Security and Stability is Threatened by a Terrorist Resurgence, a Weak Government, and Record Opium Production
Afghanistan is beset by insurgent and terrorist violence, unprecedented in its complexity and scope since 2001. In its recent report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, the Pentagon recognized the "fragile" nature of the security environment in Afghanistan, citing a rise in insurgent violence in 2007 (up 17 percent, according to Department of State data), with more than 6,500 casualties resulting from suicide attacks, roadside bombs, and combat-related violence. The Pentagon's progress report stated that the "Taliban regrouped after its fall from power and have coalesced into a resilient insurgency" and "now poses a challenge to the Afghan Government's authority in some rural areas." The assessment stated that the Taliban is likely to "maintain or even increase the scope and pace of its terrorist attacks and bombings in 2008." (U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, 4/30/08; Department of Defense, Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan)
In June, NATO commanders reported a 40 percent increase in insurgent activity in the eastern portion of the country during the first five months of the year. According to General David McKiernan, the head of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, attacks also have grown in intensity and sophistication, with militant groups based in Pakistan infiltrating from across the border and also conducting attacks from their sanctuaries in the tribal regions. The rising strength of Taliban militants and associated groups has inflicted record casualties on the U.S. military: June marked the deadliest month for U.S. troops since the war began in late 2001 and the July 13th assault carried out by Taliban militants was the worst assault against U.S. forces in three years. (Los Angeles Times, 6/25/08; New York Times, 7/14/08)
The Afghan government faces a crisis of legitimacy.As a recent report from the Center for American Progress assessed, "the Afghan government has not developed sufficient capacity to lead or create change. The Karzai government continues to have little control or presence outside of Kabul and cannot maintain security or provide services and the rule of law in areas outside of the capital." The weakness of the central government has raised strong concerns about its future. Earlier this year, the Jones-Pickering study reported that "many Afghans are uncertain about the direction of their country...and are increasingly frustrated with the failure of President Karzai's government to extend its authority and services throughout the country and by the lack of improvement in their daily lives six years after the international reconstruction process was launched. The Taliban have been able to exploit the Karzai government's shortcomings to their advantage." (Center for American Progress, The Forgotten Front, 11/07; Center for the Study of the Presidency,Afghanistan Study Group Report, 1/30/08)
Opium production has soared to record levels, accounting for more than 50 percent of Afghanistan's economy and 93 percent of the global supply - and an estimated 40 percent of the terrorists' funding. In 2007, Afghanistan produced 8,200 tons of opium - 34 percent more than it produced in 2006, and twice the amount it produced in 2005 - making it essentially the world's exclusive supplier of the drug. As the United Nations reported in itsAfghanistan Opium Survey 2007, "no other country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale." (United Nations, Afghanistan Opium Survey, 2007, 8/07)
In addition to the dramatic increases in production in recent years, the U.N. report highlighted several troubling trends in Afghanistan's opium cultivation. It reported that while production decreased in several of the poorer northern provinces in 2007, it has "exploded to unprecedented levels" in the five provinces along the border with Pakistan. Further, the U.N. found that opium cultivation has become closely linked to the insurgency, noting that the Taliban have "started to extract from the drug economy resources for arms, logistics, and militia pay." According to a March 9 interview with General McNeil, then-commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban and other terrorist groups derive upwards of 40 percent of their funding for operations from the drug trade. (United Nations, Afghanistan Opium Survey, 2007, 8/07; Chicago Tribune, 3/16/08)
The Bush Administration's Decision to Launch a War in Iraq Diverted Critical Resources and Attention Away From the Fight Against the Taliban and al Qaeda
The Bush Administration's policy of redirecting money as well as intelligence and military resources from the campaign in Afghanistan to Iraq allowed bin Laden and his network of terrorists to escape and regroup.There is widespread consensus among current and former military and intelligence officials that the war in Iraq diverted limited resources and critical attention away from efforts to combat al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist networks and to stabilize and secure Afghanistan.
•In March of 2002, the CIA began scaling back operations in Afghanistan: it closed forward bases in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Kandahar; halted an $80 million initiative to train and equip intelligence services for the new Afghan government; and sent commandos, along with critical surveillance equipment, to Iraq throughout 2002 and in early 2003 to prepare for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. (Washington Post, 10/22/04)
•At the same time, Task Force 5, a top secret team composed primarily of personnel from the military's special mission units (SMUs), were called away from their mission to hunt down bin Laden along Afghanistan's borders with Pakistan and Iran to prepare for the war in Iraq. These elite forces were pulled out prematurely, along with the Predator and Global Hawk drone aircraft - critical tools in the hunt for al Qaeda. (Washington Post, 10/22/04)
•"By the end of July , Bush had approved some 30 projects to prepare for war [in Iraq] that would eventually cost $700 million. Some of the funding would come from the supplemental appropriations bill for the Afghan war and the general war on terrorism." (Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack)
•Since 2003, the deployment of hundreds of special operations forces and intelligence officers to Iraq to fight the insurgency and sectarian violence there has meant that few of these "high demand, low density" assets have been available to fight al Qaeda and its affiliates around the world. As long as American troops continue to be in the midst of a violent civil war, that diversion of key resources will be necessary, increasing our vulnerability to terrorist activity in other parts of the globe.
For the Past Five Years, Ongoing Operations in Iraq Have Continued to Undermine Efforts in the Campaign against Global Terrorist Threats
The war in Iraq has served as a powerful recruiting tool for al Qaeda, providing the group with access to new resources, operatives and supporters. In its April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), our Intelligence Community assessed thatIraq had become a "'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."More than a year later, the July 2007 NIE raised continued alarm about the dangerous consequences of the Bush strategy in Iraq, assessing that ongoing operations have served to "help al Qaeda energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks." (National Intelligence Estimate, April 2006; National Intelligence Estimate, July 2007)
The Bush Administration's focus on the war in Iraq has led to the neglect of the mission in Afghanistan.In a recent report published by the National Defense University, Joseph Collins, a retired colonel and former senior adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, assessed that "operations in Iraq have had a negative impact on all other efforts in the war on terror, which must bow to the priority of Iraq when it comes to manpower, materiel, and the attention of decision-makers." The report also stated that U.S. efforts in Iraq, while "designed to enhance U.S. national security," have become, "at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East." (Institute for National Strategic Studies, April 2008)
The continued demand for troops in Iraq has led to a shortfall of boots on the ground in Afghanistan to combat the Taliban's resurgence, growing drug trade, and escalating violence. Admiral Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has repeatedly attributed the shortfall of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq. In a Pentagon briefing earlier this month, he stated that while additional U.S. forces were urgently needed in Afghanistan to address the terrorist threat and "complex" and deteriorating security situation, "I don't have troops I can reach for, brigades I can reach, to send into Afghanistan until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq... Afghanistan has been and remains an economy of force campaign which, by definition, means we need more forces there. So what we're going through right now is an ability to, in almost every single case, win from the combat standpoint, but not unlike the insurgency in Iraq, we don't have enough troops there to hold. And that is key, clearly, to the future of being able to succeed in Afghanistan." (Admiral Michael Mullen, Department of Defense News Briefing, 7/2/08)
The demand for intelligence resources in Iraq has directly undermined the hunt for Osama bin Laden and efforts to defeat al Qaeda militants in Pakistan.The New York Times recently reported that "Current and former military and intelligence officials said that the war in Iraq consistently diverted resources and high-level attention from the tribal areas. When American military and intelligence officials requested additional Predator drones to survey the tribal areas, they were told no drones were available because they had been sent to Iraq." Further, it reported that "according to two former intelligence officials directly involved in the Qaeda hunt...by 2006 the Iraq war had drained away most of the C.I.A. officers with field experience in the Islamic world. 'You had a very finite number" of experienced officers,' said one former senior intelligence official. 'Those people all went to Iraq. We were all hurting because of Iraq.'" (New York Times, 6/30/08)
The Bush Administration Strategy for Combating al Qaeda is Fundamentally Flawed
The Administration's counterterrorism approach is not effective - and often counterproductive - to countering the threat of al Qaeda.As a new RAND study concluded, for nearly seven years, the Bush Administration has been pursuing a misguided approach to addressing the al Qaeda threat. Its analysis found that "a strategy based on military force has not been effective" and instead, the Bush approach "has the opposite effect from what is intended: [Military force] is often overused, alienates the local population by its heavy-handed nature, and provides a window of opportunity for terrorist-group recruitment." The report calls for a "fundamental rethinking of U.S. counterterrorism strategy" and its overemphasis on the use of military force to a strategy that includes a "range of policy instruments" such as police and intelligence work, political negotiations, and economic sanctions. (RAND, How Terrorist Groups End, 7/28/08)
National security experts have warned that Bush strategy against al Qaeda is off course.For over two years, an overwhelming majority of more than 100 of America's top foreign-policy experts - including conservatives and liberals - have assessed that the strategy for combating global terrorism is failing. In the most recent Center for American Progress/Foreign Affairs survey, 84 percent of experts said America is not winning the "war on terror." They cited U.S. policies as the reason for our lack of progress in defeating terrorist networks. Majorities also concluded that the war in Iraq (92 percent), the detention of terrorist suspects in Guantanamo and elsewhere (83 percent), and U.S. policy towards Iran (73 percent), have had a negative impact on our national security. (Center for American Progress/Foreign Affairs, 8/20/07)
The Bush Administration's Short-Sighted Strategy in Afghanistan Has Contributed to the Taliban's Resurgence and Left the Country on the Brink of Collapse
Several independent, expert reports released in recent months each have concluded that the Bush Administration's strategy in Afghanistan is failing. Analysis from the Afghanistan Study Group, the Atlantic Council, the National Defense University, Center for International Cooperation, and the World Bank have identified critical shortcomings in the Bush Administration's strategy in Afghanistan and call for a change of course to combat the terrorist threat and prevent the country from becoming a failed state and safe haven for al Qaeda.
The Bush Administration has failed to provide the level of commitment necessary to fulfill the mission in Afghanistan. Co-chairs of the Afghanistan Study Group, General James Jones and Ambassador Thomas Pickering, have assessed that the "light footprint" approach, as used by the Bush Administration for nearly seven years in Afghanistan, needs to be replaced with the "right footprint." They stated that "It is time to re-vitalize and re-double our efforts toward stabilizing Afghanistan and re-think our economic strategies to ensure that the level of our commitment is commensurate with the threat posed by possible failure in Afghanistan. Without the right level of commitment on the part of the U.S., its allies, and Afghanistan's neighbors, the principles agreed upon by both the Afghan government and the international community at the 2006 London Conference and the goals stated in the Afghanistan compact will not be achievable." (Center for the Study of the Presidency, Afghanistan Study Group Report, 1/30/08)
The Bush Administration has failed to implement a coherent strategy to address the challenges in Afghanistan.As the Afghan Study Group recently reported, "The United States and the international community have tried to win the struggle in Afghanistan...without a clear and consistent comprehensive strategy to fill the power vacuum outside Kabul and to counter the combined challenges of reconstituted Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a runaway opium economy, and the stark poverty faced by most Afghans." (Center for the Study of the Presidency, Afghanistan Study Group Report, 1/30/08)
Further, as analysis from the Atlantic Council concluded, "International efforts engaged in rebuilding and securing Afghanistan include over 40 countries, three major international organizations and scores of other non-governmental organizations. They are disorganized, uncoordinated and at present insufficient." Their report calls for the creation of a "comprehensive campaign plan that brings together all of these disparate security, reconstruction and governance efforts and coordinates and integrates their work." (Atlantic Council, 1/28/08)
The Bush Administration has failed to provide support for economic development, government capacity building, and long-term reconstruction assistance necessary to combat corruption, drug production, and long-term development. According to analysis from the National Defense University: "It is our assertion that the current Afghan government and its allies, principally NATO and the United States, are not winning the battle in the civil sector to create crucial judicial, legal and police reforms essential to governance and are losing the fight in curtailing corruption and drug production and creating employment opportunities. While NATO and other forces are capable of coping with the current military and security threats posed by the Taliban and other insurgents...unless or until civil reforms are put in place, tactical success will not bring political or strategic victory." (National Defense University, 1/30/08)
The Bush Administration pursued a flawed drug policy opposed by the Karzai government and the Afghan people.The White House has made eradication the focal point of its counter-narcotics plan in Afghanistan, despite strong opposition from the Afghan government and warnings from President Karzai that such a policy would inspire a backlash from Afghan farmers and encourage more support for the Taliban. According to expert studies from the World Bank and the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University, this eradication-based counternarcotics strategy is fundamentally flawed. They report that it "makes more money available to the insurgency;" is unsustainable without a broader strategy focused economic development and government capacity building; and imposes hardship on the most impoverished Afghans. While the Bush Administration has paid some lip service to other counter-narcotics initiatives, it has either failed to implement or sufficiently fund such programs. (CRS, 1/28/08; Center for International Cooperation at NYU, 2/08; World Bank, 3/08)
Bush Administration's flawed policies toward Pakistan have allowed al Qaeda to rebuild its strength and regain its terrorist sanctuary
Nearly seven years after 9/11, independent experts report that the Bush Administration has failed to develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat the terrorist threat and destroy al Qaeda's safe haven along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.Top intelligence and military officials have warned that the terrorist threat in Pakistan's tribal regions represents the greatest national security threat to the United States, yet, as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported, the Bush Administration has no "comprehensive plan for meeting U.S. national security goals" in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Despite pledges made by President Bush, directives from the independent 9/11 Commission, and legislation passed by Congress specifically mandating the establishment of comprehensive plans to combat terrorism, the GAO reported that "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." According to Richard Armitage, the Administration's point person for Pakistan from 2001 to 2005, "We're just kind of drifting." (GAO, 4/17/08; New York Times, 6/30/08)
The Bush Administration has relied on an ill-conceived military assistance strategy to combat the terrorist threat along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
•The Administration has, in effect, has outsourced U.S. counterterrorism efforts to Pakistan's military -an unreliable ally in the fight against terrorism.According to the GAO, the Bush Administration "has relied principally" on the Pakistani military to destroy the terrorist threat in the FATA region, the gravest threat to U.S. national security today. It attributes this short-sighted strategy to "the lack of a comprehensive plan to guide embassy efforts and the sense that the Pakistani military was the most capable institution in Pakistan to quickly undertake operations against Al Qaeda immediately after the attacks of 9/11. Senior embassy officials stated that this may have led to an 'over-reliance' on the Pakistani military to achieve U.S. national security objectives in Pakistan." (GAO, 4/17/08)
•The Bush Administration has failed to exercise adequate oversight over its military assistance program, wasting billions and producing little results.In a recent article, the New York Times reported that some "Bush administration and military officials said they believed that much of the American money was not making its way to frontline Pakistani units. Money has been diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to counter India, not al Qaeda or the Taliban, the officials said, adding that the United States has paid tens of millions of dollars in inflated Pakistani reimbursement claims for fuel, ammunition and other costs." (New York Times, 12/24/07)
•The Administration recently agreed to shift $230 million away from counterterrorism initiatives in Pakistan- the latest example of its misplaced priorities and incoherent strategy for addressing the terrorist threat in the tribal regions.The Bush Administration last week confirmed its plan to shift $230 million of the $300 million that Congress approved for law enforcement and counterterrorism programs in Pakistan to instead finance the upgrade of the country's F-16 attack plans. As a recent New York Timesarticle underscored, the F-16s would do nothing to help the campaign to combat al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the tribal areas: "Pakistan prizes [F-16s] more for their contribution to its military rivalry with India than for fighting insurgents along its Afghan border." Further, even if the plan were approved, the planes would not be available until 2011, and therefore would not address the urgent need to step up counterterrorism efforts in the tribal areas. (New York Times, 7/24/08)
The Bush Administration has failed to recognize that nonmilitary initiatives are the key to addressing the threat in FATA.The GAO reported that "although the FATA has some of the worst development indicators in Pakistan and is ruled under colonial administrative and legal structures dating from 1901, the United States has devoted little funding to address these issues in the FATA." Analysis from the Center for American progress states that "The resources allocated remain grossly out of balance. The overwhelming majority - 96 percent - of U.S. spending in the FATA during fiscal years 2002-2007 went to military expenditures. Only 1 percent of spending - approximately $40 million in USAID money - went to development assistance during this time frame. Most U.S. spending to Pakistan has gone to 'Coalition Support Funds,' which reimburse the Pakistani army for operations it says it has carried out in the region, but there has been little oversight or accountability for the disbursement of these funds." Its report calls for dramatically increasing long-term development aid. (GAO, 4/17/08; Center for American Progress, 4/24/08)
- Kristin Devine (224-3232)