We know how things are going in Iraq and in Afghanistan
-- so how's the fight against Al Qaeda going?
Badly, reports The New York Times
-- so badly that the Times
invokes a comparison to Al Qaeda under Taliban rule as a gauge of its strength:
Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.
Officials said the training camps had yet to reach the size and level of sophistication of the Qaeda camps established in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. But groups of 10 to 20 men are being trained at the camps, the officials said, and the Qaeda infrastructure in the region is gradually becoming more mature....
âThe chain of command has been re-established,â said one American government official, who said that the Qaeda âleadership command and control is robust.â...
Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University, told the House Armed Services Committee last week that Al Qaeda âis on the march.â He said, âAl Qaeda in fact is now functioning exactly as its founder and leader, Osama bin Laden, envisioned it,â because, he said, Qaeda leaders are planning major attacks and inspiring militants to carry out attacks around the globe.
paints the administration as somewhat nonplussed about what to do. A missile strike? "State Department officials say increased American pressure could undermine President Musharrafâs military-led government." But Musharraf's own diplomatic forays into the tribal region, called North Waziristan
, seem to have only made the situation worse
. Today's front page story, however, will certainly rachet up pressure on the administration to do something... or at least to claim that something is being done. Note
: I'd be remiss if I didn't also link to The Washington Post
's investigative report
on the dire conditions for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.