al-Qaeda Bases = al-Qaeda Targets
In our most recent analysis, we considered the resurgent Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance in Pakistan and its potential effective 'acquisition' of an incorporated 63,218 square miles of FATA and NWFP in Pakistan, juxtaposed against the increasing weakness of the Musharraf government. Troubling as that is, there is always room for another perspective when considering matters of grave national security import.
From the erstwhile James S. Robbins at National Review, optimism that is not without merit.
It may well be that some small scale camps have been established — nothing like those in Taliban Afghanistan surely — but this is as much opportunity as threat. If al Qaeda is coalescing, it is easier to target. If there are camps, they can be surveiled. If there are training programs, they can be infiltrated. Al Qaeda’s leaders should understand that these are not the 1990s. Unlike then, everything they do will be watched. Unlike then, we are not afraid to take strong action instantly when opportunities arise. If we can lull them into a false sense of security, allow them to reconstitute to the point where they feel comfortable enough to operate in the open, so much the better. If they get confident, they will make mistakes. And they have a lot to be confident about. I’m certain the enemy is convinced we are a weak, failing power with neither the will or capacity to continue to prosecute the war effectively. At least that’s what they read in the papers.
The man has a point.