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Panetta Says Defeat of Al Qaeda 'Within Reach'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the saving-up-for-october-surprise dept.

The Military 249

Hugh Pickens writes "Newly installed Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, on an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, says the United States was "within reach of strategically defeating Al Qaeda" and that the American focus had narrowed to capturing or killing 10 to 20 crucial leaders of the terrorist group in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Panetta, who rarely spoke on the record as CIA director, offered few details to bolster his assessment but intelligence officials say that computer files retrieved from Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, showed that the organization was in dire need of money and struggling under persistent American drone strikes on its leadership."

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also (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710532)

And we're also *this close* to winning the war on drugs...

Re:also (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710570)

An have been for decades! Just as we have always been at war with Eurasia!

s/of/by// (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710678)

So that would make the title of TFS: "Panetta Says Defeat by Al Qaeda 'Within Reach'". The way the US has been careening down the slippery slope, he'd be right.

Re:also (4, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711208)

I think these are fundamentally different things. Al Qaeda is a fairly small, traditionally top-down led group. (Though there are a bunch of "Al Qaeda" groups which popped up on their own around the world which don't fit this pattern -- they're also not really Al Qaeda.) The war on drugs, as ill-conceived as it was in the first place and ill-executed it continues to be, is a war on a huge, flat structure, if you can call market forces on everybody a structure of any sort. We could win the war on drugs, but we'd have to stop thinking it was a war and start seeing it as the economic and social problem it is. We won't do that, of course.

Panetta may be either lying of deluding himself, but we should compare these things.

On the other hand, if tomorrow he says that we're close to beating the Taliban, who are broad and flat, A. it'll be OBVIOUS he's lying or deluding himself and B. the war on drugs would be a really good comparison.

Re:also (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711440)

Except Panetta used to represent Santa Cruz, California when he was in the house. I think he knows better as far as the war on drugs go...

The way I see it. (5, Insightful)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710556)

There's no way to defeat Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda isn't just a bunch of people, it's an ideology.

As V says, "Ideas are bulletproof".

If the US really wants to defeat Al Qaeda, I think they should help countries that aid them get on their feet, that way they'll stop hating the US and start thinking about whether Al Qaeda is good for them or not for themselves.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710574)

Yeah! The US should start sending aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and help get them on back their feet so they can take care of themselves! Why has no-one thought of this before?!

Re:The way I see it. (2, Insightful)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710606)

No, people have thought of this a lot, but the US government seems to enjoy blood money too much.

If those nations had peace, the US won't be able to sell arms to those countries.

And if that happens, the US is going to be broke in no time.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710626)

Yeah! Damn the US, addicted to all the huge profits it makes selling weapons to Afghanistan and Pakistan! If the US wasn't fighting a war in Afghanistan and Pakistan they would be broke so fast.

I think they're only there for the oil, frankly. If the Afghan / Pakistan areas weren't so rich in oil and lucrative weapons contracts the world would be a much safer place.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710856)

Stupid consumer! The US doesn't sell weapons to Afganistan and Pakistan. Boeing, Raytheon, Halliburton et all sell weapons *to* the US to use *in* AfPak.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710934)

So US companies sell the US government arms which the US government pays US citizens to use in other countries, and this is somehow keeping the US from going broke?

(But I will admin Halliburton makes some damn fine weaponry. I hear Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and BP are partnering up to make the next generation of super-sonic fighters)

Re:The way I see it. (2)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710882)

I think they're only there for the oil, frankly. If the Afghan / Pakistan areas weren't so rich in oil

Yeah, that 60,000 barrels of oil per day from Pakistan and 0 barrels of oil per day from Afghanistan really makes an impact compared to the US's 9,000,000 per day.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2173.html [cia.gov]

(While Afghanistan has an estimated roughly 2 billion barrels of oil reserves, this is puny compared to the oil available in Iraq or even the US. Afghanistan lacks the technological expertise required to extract this oil, so the government is contracting with outside companies to drill for it.)

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710994)

Nevertheless, oil also has to be transported, and some think that the trans-Afghan pipeline was one of the mayor reasons for the invasion. timeline [ringnebula.com] A specific piece of interest is that a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Niaz Naik, claimed to have known by mid.-July 2001 [bbc.co.uk] that there was a plan to attack Afghanistan before winter 2001.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711180)

And thus we find the real reason for the wars. American companies don't care where we get oil from, since any cost increases are passed directly to the customer. Any cost decreases are pocketed by the executives.

The real reason is to get American companies involved in the extraction of resource, and the creation of new infrastructure. Those lucrative no-bid contracts are wroth untold billions for the companies involved.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711490)

I think you missed the point that because there's not a great deal of oil there, the oil is far more valuable to Afghanistan (which would be going from 0 barrels of oil production to substantially more than 0) than it is to an average oil company. Your argument might work better in a country like Iraq, which has orders of magnitude more exploitable reserves than Afghanistan does.

Re:The way I see it. (3, Informative)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711294)

"If the Afghan / Pakistan areas weren't so rich in oil "

There is no oil nor gas there.
That's much more to the north, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan etc.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710998)

The US is broke...

Re:The way I see it. (2)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710654)

Not the US mentality... shoot first ask questions later, if at all..

Re:The way I see it. (2)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710674)

Oh wonderful. Deployment of troops and prolonged warfare on foreign soil == humanitarian aid. Suddenly the world is beginning to make sense. I can see how that tidbit of logical information makes it all fall into place.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710698)

US aid to Pakistan over the last 10 years: [wikipedia.org] 11.740 billion in military aid, 6.08 billion in economic aid

Re:The way I see it. (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710754)

Maybe the problem is excessive aid?
Constant flow of aid prevents the local economy from growing to self-sustaining healthy levels.
Since the food is being airlifted in, the farmers might aswell grow poppy.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710758)

Yeah! The US has no interests in Pakistan or Afghanistan, and should leave them to their own devices and only return if / when they collapse and become a safe-haven for terrorists! Why has no-one thought of this before?!

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710866)

This is your 3rd sarcasm-heavy post that starts off with "Yeah!".

Give it a rest.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711022)

I really think people wouldn't realize I was being sarcastic if I didn't make it painfully obvious. (Some [slashdot.org] can't tell anyway)

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711120)

This is your 3rd sarcasm-heavy post that starts off with "Yeah!". Give it a rest.

Sarcasm is useful on slashdot; the moderators who regularly mod down tend to be stupid, so if you say something the agree with (literally), but write it facetiously, they'll mod you up instead.

Re:The way I see it. (3, Insightful)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711204)

Yeah! The US has no interests in Pakistan or Afghanistan, and should leave them to their own devices and only return if / when they collapse and become a safe-haven for terrorists! Why has no-one thought of this before?!

I sincerely hope you are joking. Time for a history lesson. The US helped the Afghan rebels take down the invading Soviet army back in the mid to late 80's. When the russians left, the Afghan people inherited a country torn apart by decades of war. The USA decided it didn't have any interests in the country so we left. If we had invested in the infrastructure and helped the country create a strong central government we wouldn't be fighting another war there. In other words, you can't always achieve peace through strength. Sometimes you have to lend a hand because it's the right thing to do.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711302)

"Constant flow of aid prevents the local economy from growing to self-sustaining healthy levels."

Are you talking about US Agriculture?

Re:The way I see it. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710756)

Because if we do that without any real oversight, it'll be a huge fuckup. We sent food into Somalia during the early 90s and it was just stolen by the warlords as they gunned down starving civilians. It probably wouldn't be that much different in Pakistan or Afghanistan, and we'd end up supplying our enemies instead of the civilian populace.

nation building... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711284)

So, you want to engage in nation building. Just like in Iraq. Nation building there has cost $1 trillion so far.... I think that is a bad idea.

Re:The way I see it. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710596)

I think they should help countries that aid them get on their feet...

Get on their feet?

Al Qaeda exists today (after their CIA support) because of centuries of what the Arab people and Muslims believe was oppression - which they do have a point. As far as the Muslim World is concerned, they have been "disrespected" to use an American term. If you look at the Arab countries, they have been shit on for centuries by Western powers and there is a lot of bitterness and resentment about that.

Then there's the other side. The Arabs and Muslims in general for that matter are stuck in this victimization mentality. And they need to look in the mirror and admit to themselves that they're part of their own problem; which I think is starting to happen - the Arab Summer with all these revolts and protests are a sign that they're saying enough is enough.

What we need to do is support them when we can and stop this horseshit of supporting the assholes of the Middle East or even the semi assholes in Jordan.

We can start by getting rid of the Saudi "royals".

sand niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710642)

Arab summer will only get rid of the dictators and replace them with SHARIA law under an Iman. So we will have the stoning of women, the cutting of fingers, etc. That's PROGRESS !!!

The moslems have a religion that is shit.

Re:sand niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711222)

Christians do, too.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710796)

Then there's the other side. The Arabs and Muslims in general for that matter are stuck in this victimization mentality. And they need to look in the mirror and admit to themselves that they're part of their own problem

So they're just like American blacks then? Everything is Whitey's fault, you know. The fact so many of their youth think being a violent thug is COOL has nothing to do with it, neither does their absurdly high (around 80%) rate of out-of-wedlock children. Sorry but let's use some logic here. If a black father doesn't want to be with a black mother to help her raise their black children, how does that involve white racism in any way whatsoever? Or if black-on-black crime is higher than white-on-black crime has ever been how does that involve white racism? Do white people have thought-control devices they use to keep blacks down?

Fact is so long as USA has a giant race relations problem and everybody is so hypersensitive about group identities, never individual identities, this is politically useful. If you run for office you can pander to one side or another and capture voting districts that way. As long as a significant minority feels oppressed you can be their hero if you can pull off the trick of making them ignore the way nothing ever really changes because the status quo is too beneficial to you. If we had real racial harmony in the US people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would have to get real jobs and so would many of our politicians.

I imagine the idea scales up. Maybe international politics demands ill will and dividie-and-conquer and oppressor-versus-oppressed too. Otherwise there just isn't enough going on for exploitation to advice political power. Real international harmony would mean the US has one less excuse to try to be the world's police. It would mean the UN has a lot less to do to justify its existence. You see the tendencies and patterns or you think this is just my opinion. Your choice.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710636)

If we would have taken the money we spent on fighting the 'War on Terror', and instead applied it to actually helping people get access to food and clean drinking water, helped them set up schools, the amount of good will we would have in the region and around the world would be enormous. Al Qaeda would not be able to exist because the people would not allow it to.

But as with anything, it's easier to destroy than create.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711136)

We've dug lots of wells and built lots of schools. But, you do know that the Taliban burn schools down and murder the kids going there? The Taliban are evil and we are the good guys. We don't intentionally kill innocents, they do. Involuntary martyrdom is what the Taliban call their murders. A very interesting term; isn't it?

Back on topic. Military actions aside, the literacy rate in Afghanistan is low enough that most of the men there have only two skills - farming and carrying a gun. Employment opportunities are very limited and raising the literacy rate takes time; maybe a generation. Schools, wells, hospitals, and dams have to be protected. The Afghan army is starting to match the need, but (again literacy) it takes time.

Re:The way I see it. (4, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711150)

>>instead applied it to actually helping people get access to food and clean drinking water, helped them set up schools, the amount of good will we would have in the region and around the world would be enormous

You think we haven't been doing that?

A friend of mine was a Lt. in the marines (this is ~2003 or 2004) and was assigned a CNN reporter who was going to follow him around for the day. She showed up, asked what they'd be doing today, and he said they'd be visiting a couple schools that the marines built, where the reporter would get to interview the children, and then on to a place where they'd fixed up the water infrastructure.

She said: "That's boring." And left.

Re:The way I see it. (1, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711380)

Of course we've been doing that, the problem is that in the months leading up to that, we killed thousands of innocent civilians.

Maybe next time, before they bomb out half the cities of whatever country our current "enemies" live in, they could try helping the people first. We have to win over the people if we ever want to win the war, and by killing the wrong people (as we can't seem to stop doing) we do nothing but ensure another generation of people with a deep-seated hatred of us. All the good will we've created by building school and handing out MRE's is quickly eroded when we accidentally kill non-combatant women and children.

If we actually show the people that we are there to help them, they will go out of their way to turn over these operatives to us. Clearly we're not showing them that we're there to help, and the fact is, a lot of people in these countries see us in the same light as the horrible dictators that have abused them for so long...

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711376)

It's not "If we would have taken ...". It's "If we had taken ...". Don't be an idiot.

Re:The way I see it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710656)

There's no way to defeat Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda isn't just a bunch of people, it's an ideology.

As V says, "Ideas are bulletproof".

If the US really wants to defeat Al Qaeda, I think they should help countries that aid them get on their feet, that way they'll stop hating the US and start thinking about whether Al Qaeda is good for them or not for themselves.

If being an ideology was sufficient to make a group invincible, then the Argentinian Montoneros or the Peruvian Shinning Path would still exist. To defeat Al Qaeda is not necessary to annihilate its members or even the ideology behind them. It is simply sufficient to exterminate their global and regional reach and reduce them to strategic insignificance. Then local governments can dispatch them, or let the remains disperse into the wind.

And that, ladies and gents, that's a defeat for them, and a good enough victory for those that oppose them. Victory is not necessary to be total, just sufficient according to the victor's context.

The trick would be to maintain and obtain intelligence from that point on to squash them into oblivion once again should they attempt to raise the group to a significant threat.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710816)

But it does absolutely nothing about the issues, both real and perceived, that caused Al Qaeda to exist in the first place. It's attacking the symptoms and ignoring the cause. So how long will it be before there's another group comprised of exactly the same disenfranchised people under the same ideology?

Re:The way I see it. (1)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711172)

But it does absolutely nothing about the issues, both real and perceived

Very good point right there. Even if you deal with the real issues, you'll still have to deal with the perceived. The US can totally pull out of the middle east, and there will still be terrorism aimed at it from the middle east just for the sake of having association with another entity, e.g. Israel, Turkey, India, allies who interfere in Africa, etc. Perceived injustice is a personal opinion, and those don't go away just because you make concessions.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711118)

The Argentinian Montoneros still exist, only that they are in government now.

Re:The way I see it. (2, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710662)

What you fail to realize is how unorganized this 'group' is, especially since we've been killing them nonstop for the last decade. You also fail to realize how unorganized their ideology is. The only idea that holds them together is Islam, which isn't necessarily anti-western. The senior leaders such as Bin Laden used their money and power to dupe ignorant and poor individuals into sacrificing their lives for their bullshit cause. Without the senior leaders there's no one smart or resourceful enough to propagate these dumbass ideas. Furthermore, foreign aid is exactly what these extremist don't want. It's a western influence.

So I think you're wrong on all points. A large portion of the Muslim world will continue to hate the U.S., but that has more to do with our support of Israel than their lack of foreign aid (which we do give -- not to mention all the oil money we pour into the middle east). Obama has taken a fairly pro-Palestinian stance, he's dark skinned, and his middle name is Hussein. They may not love him, but just by being president he's quelled some of the hate.

Also, "V for Vendetta" was a horribly immature movie. It was a pathetic attempt to justify terrorism, it's no wonder that cyber-terrorists rally behind it. One of the worst films I've ever seen.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710766)

How was it a pathetic attempt to justify terrorism? It was about a rebellion against an oppressive state and quite often people die in these kind of things. See the American Revolution for a real world example.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710864)

How was it a pathetic attempt to justify terrorism? It was about a rebellion against an oppressive state and quite often people die in these kind of things. See the American Revolution for a real world example.

I consider the U.S. to be an oppressive state with things such as the Patriot Act, the oligarchy in control of things, the prohibition of marijuana, the military industrial complex, and the prison industry. That doesn't mean that, were I to start blowing things up, I'd be a 'rebel' rather than a 'terrorist.'

V = Timothy McVeigh

Re:The way I see it. (1)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710890)

So it's terrorism because it's not QUITE oppressive enough, but there's a certain tipping point where it becomes rebellion? I

Re:The way I see it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711218)

Just depends on perspective. If you are on the side being oppressed, then you're seen as a rebel. If you are on the side doing the oppressing, then you are seen as a terrorist. If there isn't a large enough group that understand why you are rebelling, then its more than likely the state propaganda machine will be able to convince even those you are rebelling for that you are a terrorist.

Also, history is written by the winner. So if you are on the losing side, you will more than likely be labeled a terrorist forever.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710896)

not to mention all the oil money we pour into the middle east

Just want to point out that the "Middle East", much like South America, is made up of many different countries... just because Venezuela sells a buttload of oil does not mean that Bolivia benefits from the money...

Between the gulf wars in the early 90s and now the war on terror in the 00s there are two generations that are growing up with bombs and bullets flying around them courtesy of the United States and its allies. I'm sure there are some who are told that the US are the good guys and believe it, just like in Vietnam... others will always see them as villains because of their viewpoint, personal experiences or propaganda... but the majority probably would just like to get back to whatever semi-peaceful life they had, those are the ones that could be persuaded either way and those are the ones who are lost when Western intervention comes in the faceless forms of precision smart-bombs from 40,000 feet, unmanned drones and food dropped from parachutes...

But in the end, as a Westerner, you have to ask yourself--do I /really/ want to help these people? Or do I just want to stop hearing about them? I guarantee your politicians believe the latter, or at least that you are satisfied enough with it for them to maintain their positions, and frankly they are correct...

Re:The way I see it. (1)

Sam Andreas (894779) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710690)

"V" may be right, bullets may not be effective against ideas, but that doesn't make ideas any less vulnerable to far more mundane threats like a lack of money or leadership.

Re:The way I see it. (2)

Rufty (37223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710924)

Bullets may not be effective against ideas, but swords did quite a number on the idea of Catharism.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710794)

I guess all the billions of dollars we've poured in to the region doesn't count, eh? Sure you can defeat terrorism. Make it bloody impossible to join without dying. The next generation will shun those groups. The real strategy is for the US to reduce petroleum imports and stop meddling in other countries affairs.

Re:The way I see it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711186)

I guess all the billions of dollars we've poured in to the region doesn't count, eh?

When half of those billions come in the form of cruise missiles, bombs, bullets and grenades, then no.

Sure you can defeat terrorism. Make it bloody impossible to join without dying. The next generation will shun those groups.

You say they are terrorists, what do the Afghan people say? I don't know.

The real strategy is for the US to reduce petroleum imports and stop meddling in other countries affairs.

Exactly.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710962)

There's no way to defeat Al Qaeda.

sure there is, treat this for the worldwide clash of civilizations that it really is.
Next time there is a major terrorist attack in a western country, retaliate with a week of round-the-clock carpet bombing of a major Muslim city. They'll get the message eventually.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710988)

To defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan the government needs to negotiate with the Taliban and intigrate them into the government. They need to keep their friends close and their enemies closer.

Re:The way I see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711030)

That is quite a hopeful sentiment. However it doesn't often work out. For example, how is that policy working out in Pakistan? If this doesn't ring a bell, you need to gather more information on what has been going on lately.

Re:The way I see it. (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711398)

As V says, "Ideas are bulletproof". that's like it, i shiver at the thought, these people are still looking for 'leaders' to demoralize the troops ... anonymous and lulzsec proved the admins don't have a clue about what they're admin-ing ... this is way more dangerous but these people don't have a clue about what they're fighting. Am i the only one who perceives it this way ? Don't answer, just think ... please ...

Mission Accomplished? (4, Interesting)

number17 (952777) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710564)

Once these 10 to 20 leaders are dead i'm sure all those people in death squad training camps will go right back to working in McDonalds or some other type of desk job. They definitely have the hunger and skillset to become a corporate executive.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710714)

Once these 10 to 20 leaders are dead i'm sure all those people in death squad training camps will go right back to working in McDonalds or some other type of desk job. They definitely have the hunger and skillset to become a corporate executive.

Working in McDonalds is a deskjob? Well I guess if you call the grill your desk it would still be cleaner than some slashdotters desks ;-)

Re:Mission Accomplished? (4, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710744)

You mean those death squad training camps that we blew up?

What the hell do you think we've been dropping all these bombs and predator drones on? Al Qaeda's been relegated to nothing but some guys with AK-47s. We've killed almost anyone with money or power. Once we take out the remaining 10-20 leaders, it won't matter who's left. We can pack our bags and go home because everyone who remains loyal to the cause will be too poor to do anything about it and if they try the Pakistani/Afghani governments will deal with them. If they happen to pool some resources together the CIA will take care of it.

Because of 9/11 we've constantly overestimated these fucks. We never should have sent the military to deal with this. The CIA could have dealt with it fine. We should have done what the Israelis did after the '72 Munich murders: assassinate, assassinate, assassinate, and assassinate some more. Sending in ground troops was a gross tactical error. It gave them something to fight. The only military forces should have been the Airforce/Navy dropping bombs and maybe some rangers taking on assassination missions like what we did to Bin Laden. Al Qaeda was nothing but a rag-tag bunch of morons. Bush empowered them by trying to turn them into Emmanuel Goldstein.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710798)

What the hell do you think we've been dropping all these bombs and predator drones on? A

Innocent civilians, mostly. Just like you did in Iraq, Vietnam, etc.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710812)

One man's tactical error is another's post cold-war reboot of the military industrial complex. Really, the error is so obvious and so blatant how could you take it at face value?

Re:Mission Accomplished? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710840)

One man's tactical error is another's post cold-war reboot of the military industrial complex. Really, the error is so obvious and so blatant how could you take it at face value?

The error was on the part of the public support that allowed it to happen and reelected him in 2004.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711192)

...and apparently re-elected him (or what is in many ways a near-clone) again in 2008 as well.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711016)

Because of 9/11 we've constantly overestimated these fucks. We never should have sent the military to deal with this.

Just like the Vietnam War wasn't meant to be won, but rather just prolonged into a stalemate, the War on Terror isn't meant to be won, just prolonged as well. The military-industrial complex wants these wars to be a never ending cash cow so they can reap the profits at the expense of our military and innocent "collateral damage". Obviously even a Nobel Peace Prize winner can't do much about it, even if he's President of the USA.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (3, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711142)

So you mean you should react on acts of terror with more acts of terror? That is really civilized. No wonder the USA is the "defender of truth, justice and democracy". Just go in and kill'em all, and their children.

Fuck America. The USA is the modern British Empire, that killed millions of Indian people under the disguise to bring them civilization and democracy.

Re:Mission Accomplished? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711356)

Exactly my thought.

The biggest terrorist organization ever on this planet: The CIA and DHS.

I do not understand how people can think: "Those guys did something horrible to my people... So I will become exactly like them and do the same!"
Could it possibly get any dumber and more ignorant that that train of thought?

And of course, the other "side" will react the same, resulting in endless deaths.

The only good thing about it, is that those retards wipe each other out in the process.
The bad thing is, that we'll end up as "collateral damage" (what a nice euphemism for mass-murder).

Defeat of an idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710568)

Can't see how you can defeat the idea of Al Qaeda, I agree that funding is crucial for everything in today's world, but the idea of Al Qaeda, and other such organizations can survive even after the money runs out - it is not that expensive to strap to someone a bomb (home made or otherwise) or have him use a M16 against "enemy" forces - with very little to no funding.

I like Panetta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710572)

I like Panetta and think that his chain of restaurants/bakeries makes some of the finest bread that I've tasted.

http://www.panerabread.com/ [panerabread.com]

Are you really that sure... (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710580)

Panetta, are you really that sure that you can announce this before executing those people? This sounds as a buttload of PR bullshit, or one hell of an ego who wants his 15 minutes of fame. Shut them down first, then have an interview. That's the way it should be done.

Now back to work! Pronto!!!

Re:Are you really that sure... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710712)

It's just propaganda from the ministry of "defense"(sic).

By announcing this they'll keep the rednecks and conservatives happy for another tax year while they work on the next announcement.

Twas Porn that killed the Beast (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710590)

No, it wasn't predator drones. They have fewer frustrated males to recruit, outcompeted by 72virgins dot com.

Re:Twas Porn that killed the Beast (2)

spaceplanesfan (2120596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710616)

What?!? 72virgins.com isn't registered... Going to register it now, WOW what a name for a porn site.

Re:Twas Porn that killed the Beast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711330)

What, would it just be a bunch of women without burqas or hijabs?

God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710594)

The only way to defeat them is to make sure God is on our side.

God says...
transgressing Professorship evenly Be txt Neither overthrow
cast files cupboards seats can't manors climb seduce female
heardest treat toiling Hence enlargedst pernicious inspect
sublime raised scattered require shown thunder preachings
reformed triumpheth embracements overthrow perfect treacherous
resolute eating INCLUDING sport division contemplate links
Thence forthwith stirred demandest Mary pupils His Aristotle
edition Many embraces calf alter refuse items understands
stank delay Milan comprised wherein garb avoid Abraham's
strength solecism lack palaces wins gradation Verity reposing
relation sharply convinced thunder Inhabitant forbare
sigh Even English heartedness fragment stay Paul instance
steps luxuriousness ransom recur prevail strengtheneth
yieldeth review sufferedst inflicted hale overcoming senses
unlimited Whereat buzzed crossed skin Next antidote besides
crept multiplicity presiding trying pear hidden status
fled basest litigation ambition teachers qualified protracted
expansive residest asunder taketh biting rounds suppressed
could Louisiana gently recorded regular reminded Whose
All wonders inchoate daughters captive Forsake breasts
treat reviewing endangers tempt unhappiness periods meets

Defeat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710612)

On the one hand, I have the same comment I've been using for years now: how can defeat an I'll-defined, amorphous enemy?

On the other hand, if he thinks we're close to defeating them, then he should think "the war" is almost over, and I'm glad to see someone looking at this whole debacle with something like an end game, or some sort of realistic checklist of "success".

Re:Defeat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710682)

Hooray. With Al Qaeda defeated the emergency measures instituted will surely be removed. Bye bye patriot act and having my balls cupped at airports!

like an old joke (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710664)

it's like an old joke, about a computer programmer, who is being pulled away from his computer by a bunch of mental hospital nurses, while he is looking at the screen, where there is an infinite loop running, and he is yelling: -It's only going to take a little longer!

War on terrorism, on drugs, on poverty, on anything that government does, it's not only futile, it actively causes more of what they are fighting against.

Re:like an old joke (2)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710780)

He didn't say that terrorism would be defeated. He said Al Qaeda would be defeated.

Re:like an old joke (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710782)

That's why people are still dying in of cholera and typhoid in filthy slums in the US and Europe isn't it.

Re:like an old joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711188)

from the CDC webpage..
Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. In the United States about 400 cases occur each year, and 75% of these are acquired while traveling internationally.

So where is this epidemic in the USA you speak of?

There is no "Al Qaeda" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710670)

"Al Qaeda" is simply a Mossad list of their enemies in the Middle East.

Give it all a break, folks. Everybody and his goldfish knows that Israel did 911. Just Google: thermate

New Boss, Same Old Bullshit (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710706)

Our previous POTUS declared victory how long ago? And what changed as a result? Now we have a new POTUS, who is changing nothing and what do we get?

Re:New Boss, Same Old Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711082)

Are you high? Obama changed a good damn bit of everything. Did you not miss the uberninja assassination of Osama bin Laden that GWB wasn't even attempting to kill any more?

Re:New Boss, Same Old Bullshit (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711102)

Now we have a new POTUS, [...] and what do we get?

Bin Laden shot in the head? Withdrawal of troops from Iraq? A deadline for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan?

Al Qaeda was a reaction. (4, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710718)

Al Qaeda was a reaction to Arab tyrants propped up by the American government. What has defeated Al Qaeda is the "Arab spring". If there are no corrupt tyrants and those Arab countries can actually develop their economies Al Qaeda have nothing to offer except religious extremism. Which most people don't want. Most people no matter their religion just want to be able to provide for their families and live in peace.

While "Al Qaeda" will be around for decades, without a support base of poor Arabs their ability to carry out any serious attack is nullified.

Re:Al Qaeda was a reaction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710990)

What is this "Arab spring" that you speak of? The controlled release of information via the "Wikileaks"? The NATO bombings of Libya? Or the appearance of revolt instigated in Syria by who knows who? Or Mubarak's overdue retirement and his replacement with a coalition of miscellaneous terrorists? Or the resource-rich Sudan finally separating from its populated parts and striking deals with China and Western Europe?

Idiot.

Re:Al Qaeda was a reaction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711348)

Well, that's why the USA must still prop up Arab tyrants.
Like Kharzai in Afghanistan. A tyrant so cruel, that the Taliban looked like the better alternative. (That's how the Taliban came to power in the first place.)
And I wouldn't be surprised if half of ex-Soviet and Arabic countries' tyrants would be propped up by the CIA. (And the other half by the ["ex"-]KGB. :P)

How will you know (2, Interesting)

rongage (237813) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710732)

OK, since Al Qaeda folk don't exactly have a uniform that is distinguished from the local fashion, how exactly will we know if they are either dead or hiding? If Al Qaeda were to stop fighting tomorrow, would we believe them defeated, or are they just waiting for us to leave so that they can resume their activities?

As much as I hate to say it, we are fighting a war based on ideology and have absolutely no way to know if we have won.

Re:How will you know (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710952)

You mean, the "US Government" is fighting a war...I am not, so your "we" is not exactly accurate with its collectivist implications.

Looks like lessons have been learned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710818)

"Mission accomplished"!

Cut off the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36710850)

The Israeli Defense Force has been unofficially targeting "outlaws" & "wanted criminals" for quite some time. almost every leader of every terrorist group has been shot at, blown up with missiles, rigged cars & explosive phones. Where has this lead? there were systematically fewer and fewer people to deal with. Instead of 3-5 large terrorist groups there are now dozens of small cells with even less cohesion and less leadership.

Every time you kill one of these "leaders" there are mass funerals and more people vow to kill in their name. Think of it this way, if someone killed the president, who would take over? there will eventually be a new one, if we kill him and the PM then there stil lteh vice president etc. If we then kill the President, PM, vice president, secretary of state, head of the CIA AND a couple of senators, what will hapen? there will be a shit storm with people siging up in droves for anything from finding out who murdered them to those will to "die in the line of duty".

Once you start killing the enemy, be prepared to kill them all, and their relatives. After all, what sort of brother will not avenge his brother? a son not avenge his father?

So you pound a rock into smaller rocks, the small rocks into pebbles, the pebbles into sand...where does it end?

What Al Qaeda? (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36710938)

This is idiotic...there is no Al Qaeda. "Al Qaeda" was a CIA creation back in the days of Mujaheddins/Russia in Afghanistan, and it's not a specific group of people, it's rather an anti-American sentiment that runs throughout the Muslim world. Some people buy into it, others don't. You don't defeat things like that with bullets and bombs. Stop invading, bombing, and manipulating governments in foreign countries...when you give people no reason to hate you, they will likely stop wanting to kill you.

Good cause I hate taking off my shoes at airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711026)

nuff said

Under what law? (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711084)

Under what law can the USA kill "10 to 20 crucial leaders of the terrorist group"? Why is there nobody who actually asks what jurisdiction the USA can claim or what international law there is that the USA can do that? What if you replace Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen with Germany, Italy and France? ... that the American focus had narrowed to capturing or killing 10 to 20 crucial leaders of the terrorist group in Germany, Italy and France.

There is no deceleration of war and they are not captured to be put in front of a court. We saw what happens with terrorists if the USA has captured them, they rot in a prison and are tortured by the US military.

Re:Under what law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711406)

You're assuming that the US government sees themselves as beholden to someone. Why should they follow the law?

And what law US Army adheres to ? (1)

boorack (1345877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711414)

And do you believe those drone attacks in Pakistan are backed by any form of international law ? They bomb anyone they call "suspected terrorist" without any court order. It turned out that most of casaulties of drone attacks are just civilians. I've read somewhere that weddings were among their favorite targets as muslims often shoot into the air from their kalashnikovs on weddings but drone operators didn't give a shit about this.

If I'm disilusioning you than I'm sorry. For me it seems that US army and their proxy (IDF) did so many war crimes in so many muslim countries that muslim terrorism has to be logical consequence of this. It is basically state sponsored terrorism (USAF and IDF with some help from other NATO countries) versus muslim terrorism and it will not end until some vested interest in prolonging this war will cease (or western taxpayers will be sucked dry by those war profiteers).

There are like 20 of them left (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711310)

I think we've already defeated them.

I don't care if the military said they'd give everyone in America a pony if we just leave our guys there another six months. Get out. Turn over anti-terrorism activities to the special forces and bring the rest home.

Mr. Panetta, would you say... (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711342)

... that we've turned the corner and are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Perpetual optimism is neither helpful nor constructive.

"A year ago none of us could see victory. Now we can see it clearly, like light at the end of the tunnel."--Lieutenant-General Henri-Eugène Navarre, 1953."

"Dien Bien Phu has fulfilled the mission...." --French Army spokesperson, 1954

"Victory is in sight."--General Paul D. Harkins, 1963

"I didn't just screw Ho Chi Minh, I cut his pecker off." President Johnson, 1964

"At last there is light at the end of the tunnel." Joseph Alsop, 1965

"The North Vietnamese cannot take the punishment any more in the South. I think we can bring the war to a conclusion within the next year, possibly within the next six months." --General S. L. A. Marshall, 1966

"I believe there is light at the end of what has been a long and lonely tunnel." --President Johnson, 1966

"We have reached an important point where the end begins to come into view."--General Westmoreland, 1967

"We have the enemy licked now. He is beaten."Admiral John S. McCain, 1969

"The enemy is reeling from successive disasters. We are, in fact, winning the war." --William F. Buckley, 1969

"If we just keep up the pressure, these little guys will crack."--U. S. General Earl Wheeler, 1970

(The U.S. continued fighting for three more years. The end of the war is often given as 1975 with the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese)

Exactly. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#36711420)

We need to continue hitting inside of pakistan. The fact that AQ is attacking Pakistan gov. is because they are upset that we are destroying them and pakistan gov. has been helping. Always keep in mind that AQ has the same mind set of neo-cons (two sides of the same coin): If you are not with us, you are against us. Simple as that.

Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36711506)

And there are no Nazis left in the world either. Ideals are a lot harder to kill than people.

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