July 30, 2009

"IMPORTANT AL QAEDA FIGURES" BEING A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS:

U.S. shifting drones' focus to Taliban: In Afghanistan, the military is moving away from targeting Al Qaeda in favor of stabilizing the country. (Julian E. Barnes, July 30, 2009, LA Times)

U.S. military leaders have concluded that their war effort in Afghanistan has been too focused on hunting Al Qaeda, and have begun to shift Predator drone aircraft to the fight against the Taliban and other militants in order to prevent the country from slipping deeper into anarchy.

The move, described by government and Defense Department officials, represents a major change in the military's use of one of its most precious intelligence assets. It also illustrates the hard choices that must be made because the drones are in short supply.

Senior government officials say that defeating Al Qaeda remains the overriding U.S. objective. However, they have determined that the best way to do that is by strengthening and stabilizing Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, rather than endlessly looking for important Al Qaeda figures.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2009 7:04 AM
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