Senate Democrats

Reid: GAO Report Confirms Administration Has No Counter-Terror Strategy In Afghanistan, Pakistan

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to a GAO report that found the United States has not met its national security goals in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, nor does the Administration have a comprehensive plan to do so: 

“This nonpartisan report confirms what we have long warned: the Bush Administration’s limitless commitment of our limited resources to the war in Iraq has compromised our focus in the region that is home to Al Qaeda and where Osama bin Laden is believed to be at large six-and-a-half years after the 9/11 attacks.

“While violence and the drug trade have surged in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s security remains fragile, we are distracted by an endless civil war in Iraq.  To make America more secure, we must refocus on hunting down a resurgent Al Qaeda, securing a troubled Afghanistan and rebuilding the strength of our military.”

###

GAO Report: U.S. Has Not Met Its National Security Goals in Pakistan’s FATA, Has No Comprehensive Plan for Dealing with Terrorist Threat

U.S. Has Not Met Its National Security Goals in Pakistan’s FATA, Despite $10.5 Billion in Aid to Pakistan

GAO Report: U.S. Has Not Met National Security Goals in Pakistan’s FATA, Despite $10.5 Billion in Aid to Pakistan Since 2002. “The United States has not met its national security goals to destroy the terrorist threat and close the safe haven in the FATA, despite more than $10.5 billion in U.S. support to Pakistan since 2002.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]

  • Al-Qaeda Has Regenerated Its Attack Capability, Established Safe Haven in Pakistan’s FATA. “Notwithstanding State’s report to Congress, we found broad agreement that al Qaeda had established a safe haven in the FATA and reconstituted its attack capability. In particular, the unclassified versions of the 2007 NIE and 2008 Annual Threat Assessment state that al Qaeda has regenerated its attack capability and secured a safe haven in Pakistan’s FATA. These conclusions are supported by a broad array of sources, including Defense, State, and senior U.S. embassy officials in Pakistan.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]
  • FATA Serves As Staging Area for Al-Qaeda Attacks in Afghanistan, Training for Future Attacks in Pakistan, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States. “According to the assessment, the safe haven in the FATA serves as a staging area for al Qaeda’s attacks in support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Further, it serves as a location for training new terrorist operatives for attacks in Pakistan, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the United States. U.S. government officials in Washington and Pakistan also acknowledge that al Qaeda has established a safe haven near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]

Since 2002, U.S. Has Relied Principally on Pakistan Military to Address U.S. National Security Goals. “Since 2002, the United States relied principally on the Pakistan military to address U.S. national security goals. Of the approximately $5.8 billion the United States provided for efforts in the FATA and border region from 2002 through 2007, about 96 percent reimbursed Pakistan for military operations there.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]

Bush Administration Has Failed to Develop a Comprehensive Plan to Combat Terrorist Threat From Pakistan’s Tribal Region

GAO Report: No Comprehensive Plan for Meeting U.S. National Security Goals in the FATA Has Been Developed. “No comprehensive plan for meeting U.S. national security goals in the FATA has been developed, as stipulated by the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, recommended by the independent 9/11 Commission, and mandated by congressional legislation. Since 2003, the administration’s national security strategies and Congress have recognized that a comprehensive plan that includes all elements of national power—diplomatic, military, intelligence, development assistance, economic, and law enforcement support—was needed to address the terrorist threat emanating from the FATA.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]

  • Executive Branch Has Yet to Develop Comprehensive Plan – So Embassy in Pakistan Has Had No Plan to Combat Terrorism and Close Safe Haven in FATA. “However, neither the National Security Council (NSC), NCTC, nor other executive branch departments have developed a comprehensive plan that includes all elements of national power—diplomatic, military, intelligence, development assistance, economic, and law enforcement support—called for by the various national security strategies and Congress. As a result, since 2002, the U.S. embassy in Pakistan has had no Washington-supported, comprehensive plan to combat terrorism and close the terrorist safe haven in the FATA.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]
  • GAO Disagreed With State Dept.’s Assertion They Had a Comprehensive Strategy. “State’s comments asserted that embassy and U.S. government efforts to date have resulted in a comprehensive strategy. We disagree, and note in our report that while the initiatives begun by Defense, State, and USAID are being coordinated by the embassy, they have not been fully approved or integrated into a formal, comprehensive plan.” [GAO Report, 4/17/08]
Bookmark and Share