Iraq – A Safe Haven for al-Qaeda

U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before Sept. 11, 2001.

John Kringen, who heads the CIA’s analysis directorate, echoed the concerns about al-Qaida’s resurgence during testimony and conversations with reporters at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.

“They seem to be fairly well settled into the safe haven and the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan,” Kringen testified. “We see more training. We see more money. We see more communications. We see that activity rising.”

“Sooner or later you have to quit permitting them to have a safe haven” along the Afghan-Pakistani border, he testified. “At the end of the day, when we have had success, it is when you’ve been able to get them worried about who was informing on them, get them worried about who was coming after them.”

The threat assessment says that al-Qaida stepped up efforts to “improve its core operational capability” in late 2004 but did not succeed until December of 2006, after President Musharaff and the Pakistani government signed a peace agreement with tribal leaders that effectively removed the government military presence from the northwest frontier with Afghanistan.

The agreement allows Taliban and al-Qaida operatives to move across the border with impunity and establish and run training centers, the report says, according to the official.

Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and the “coalition of the unwilling” want to abandon Iraq and bring the troops home immediately if not sooner.

It seems to me Reid and Pelosi want to do the same thing Musharaff did. Musharaff signed a peace agreement that “effectively removed the government military presence” in Pakistan. Reid and Pelosi want to “effectively remove the U.S. goverment military presence in Iraq.”

According the Intelligence anlysis, Musharaff’s surrender of northwest Pakistan was the primary cause of al-Qaeda’s rebuilding.

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