As President Obama met with Secretary Gates to discuss the possibility of troop increases in Afghanistan, events underscored the terrible hand that the Bush administration dealt the new President. Rather than focus on Afghanistan, where the 9-11 attacks were plotted and where their planners took refuge, President Bush became distracted by Iraq. The resulting downward spiral is now the problem of the Obama Administration.
Today, President Bush is giving a speech at the Army War College touting his legacy by arguing that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. Vice President Cheney has echoed the same sentiments recently in an interview with ABC. Sadly, this argument ignores the obvious fact that the administration ignored warnings from terrorism experts such as Richard Clarke in the run up to 9/11 and did not make al Qaeda a top priority.
More than seven years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda has found a safe haven in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – a remote, mountainous region along Pakistan’s northwest border.