Release of Country Reports on Terrorism

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 6, 2010

The Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism 2009 covers events from January 1 to December 31, 2009. This publication, which fulfills a Congressional requirement, aims to enhance our collective understanding of the international terrorist threat. The report also serves as a reference tool to inform policymakers, the general public, and our foreign partners about our efforts, progress, and challenges in the campaign against international terrorism. You can read the full report here on state.gov.

This fact sheet provides highlights from the report, including the following points:

The U.S. intelligence community assessed that al-Qa'ida and its affiliates, particularly al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), were actively engaged in operational plotting against the United States.

In 2009, the al-Qa'ida core in Pakistan remained the foremost security threat to the U.S. homeland.

Al-Qa'ida suffered several significant setbacks in 2009 due to Pakistani military operations aimed at eliminating militant strongholds, leadership losses, and increased difficulty in raising money, training recruits, and planning attacks outside of the region.

In addition, the number of imams, clerics, and former militants speaking out against al-Qa'ida increased.

The al-Qa'ida threat was more evenly distributed among its affiliates in 2009. Al-Qa'ida continued its efforts to encourage key regional affiliates and terrorist networks to pursue a global agenda, using both the Internet as a means to distribute propaganda and telecommunications infrastructure to plan attacks and coordinate movements. Going forward, this will be an area of continued focus for the United States.

Iran continued its financial, material, and logistical support for Hizballah, HAMAS, and other terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Syria also continued to provide safe-haven as well as political and other support to HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, and a number of other designated Palestinian terrorist groups.

The U.S. addressed the state insufficiencies that allow terrorists to operate freely by promoting effective civilian law enforcement, good governance, and the rule of law. A major focus of this work involves effectively building capacity and making counterterrorism training for police, prosecutors, border officials, and members of the judiciary more systematic, more innovative, and far reaching. Dozens of countries have passed counterterrorism legislation or strengthened existing laws that provide their law enforcement and judicial authorities with tools to bring terrorists to justice.

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) provided a statistical annex to the report. It cautions against placing too much emphasis on the use of attack data to gauge success or failure of our counterterrorism efforts. In 2009, 11,000 terrorist attacks occurred in 83 countries, resulting in more than 15,700 deaths. Attacks decreased by about six percent in 2009 and deaths declined by about 5 percent. This marks the second consecutive year attacks and fatalities decreased. The largest number of reported terrorist attacks in 2009 occurred in South Asia, which also had, for the second consecutive year, the greatest number of fatalities. Together, South Asia and the Near East were the locations for almost two-thirds of the 234 high-casualty attacks (those that killed 10 or more people) in 2009.

Read the transcript of the briefing on the release of Country Reports on Terrorism for 2009here.

Comments

Comments

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 10, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

@Eric in New Mexico:

I completely disagree with your "analogy on the reasons for justifying" the U.S. led and NATO intervention in Afghanistan, even if the Taliban were in control, at least partially (in the Tribal regions and provinces) and even if Afghanistan during the immediate 9/11 aftermath, was a "Al Qaeda" strong hold. This is not a reason to launch a full-scale military conventional style intervention, under the pretense of a "liberation" for the Afghan population. And to draw a parallel, with the Second World War and the liberation of France? This parallel with either WWI or WWII, as if it were another 21st century liberation, is simply put "utterly ridiculous" and reminds me of the reasons why the military intervention of Iraq was sold, under false pretenses to the American people, meaning, there were no "WMDs" ever found and the U.N. led Nuclear Arms/Biological Weapons inspectors should have been sufficient with curtailing this "perceived threat in Iraq". This is a complete misrepresentation of what has been really going on in Afghanistan over the past nine years. It is really about, power, influence and strategic control in this volatile region.
Resolving the conflict in Afghanistan is not a military solution, but a political and diplomatic one. The killing of countless civilians, mostly by ISAF and U.S. air-strikes is entirely counterproductive, and will only lead to more hatred and animosity towards Americans and for the Western world. You analogy, has lead to conflict, mayhem and amplified the perceived conflict of culture, between the West and the Muslim world.

I have my valued reasons for presenting this argument, I have always thought from the very beginning that the military intervention in Afghanistan should have been limited to, simply ousting "Al Qaeda" and not go beyond this, other than "humanitarian assistance" and with providing a universal effort for "nation building". It should have been a 120 hour, Special Operations mission ousting "Al Qaeda" and the "Islamic militant" groups who were responsible for 9/11. The United States of America, should not be in the business of "re-structuring" Islamic States, by force, in an attempt to restructure those societies into a "like" Western Democracy. The Europeans, are not doing this throughout, Sub-Sahara Africa, Central Asia or elsewhere in the developing world, "why should we?"

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 11, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Joeseph,

Letter was sent 8 days after 9/11, I never mentioned al-quaida in it because we already new who did the deed, the taliban wern't giving them up, we were going to go get them, and the "how?" that was done was not even being discussed publicly in the press when it was written, only later did Sen. Joe Biden call for QUOTE "A Marshall Plan for Afghanistan". UNQUOTE

I give you historical documents, historical reference and you give me subjective opinion to "dismiss" them.

I offer historical proof that can be checked by folks in this government for authenticity very easily, you offer only your subjective opinion based on your perceptions of reality.

Frankly I've heard better lines of reasoning from the "code pink" crowd.

You ask-

"why should we?"

You'll figure that out when you can bring yourself to answer one of my questions put to you previously;

"Would you consider pouring thousands of additianal US troops and civilian personel into Afghanistan a means to "conflict escalation" or "conflict resolution"?"

I had a very long chat with an Afghan friend of mine all during that week before "exit options" was written, and the letter was the end result of of that conversation and debate.

You called that;

"analogy on the reasons for justifying" ???

If you think I faked the letter's date for the sake of this discussion, the CIA once told me they thought I made I made something up once (in 2005- not in context to this or Iraq) and found out real quick I only speak the truth.

They appologized for that and that's as it should be. Constituency services is a wonderful thing, of all the thanks I've gotten from folks, to be described by my senior Senator as "a think-tank of one." was probably the most direct evidence ever afforded by anyone that "exit options" had made one hell of a difference to folks.

It's why I'm willing today to pit my "Piled Higher and Deeper" from Hardknocks Community College that came with Honors in Attitude - any day of the week with those who think they are experts. Provided me a healthy incentive the Senator did...(chuckle).

Including the thanks and good wishes offered by Ambassador Finn ( the first appointed Amb. to Afghanistan after the fall of the taliban).

Years on now, I still see debate in Congress, questions raised, and so "exit options" is posted for their considered intellectual consumption today in answer to questions put to Holbrooke and others during Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearings on Afghanisatan.

You arn't the only one out there that needs some perspective to consider.

A committe that reads Dipnote regularly by the way...howabout that? A blog that makes a difference.

I addressed a certain "eye for an eye" mindset in that letter as well did I not?
Our friend from Nigeria now has some perspective to consider, because his reality is his own through experience, I won't disagree or try to change it, only he can determine how he reacts to terrorism.

He can see how I reacted to it and determine for himself whether it holds validity as alternative.

Where were you on 9/11? Do you even remember the mood of this country in the days following?

So, ("or whoever controls them") It wasn't clear to me at that time if Pak ISI had control ( they created the taliban) or al-quaida was running the show there in coordination with the taliban.

I really don't care if you disagree or not Joeseph, we've been in the buisiness of "protecting populations" for some time now.

We liberated Afghanistan with 310 spec. opps/CIA folks doing fire support in coordination with the "northern alliance" and drove the taliban out of power in 2001.

NATO had really nothing to do with that. Afghans liberated themselves with a little help from us. If in fact the letter did make a difference to folks, it was because it made sense.

These are the facts.

Ask Iraqis if we found "WMD's" in Iraq. They'll tell you we did. We found the biggest one of all in a "hidy-hole".

Sorry to burst your bubble, that's only the fact of the matter on the ground there. They're still doing HAZMAT cleanup of Saddam's WMD production sites to this day.

You wrote:
"Resolving the conflict in Afghanistan is not a military solution, but a political and diplomatic one."

It's not an either/or like you can separate the two, both are essential to creating the peace and sustaining it in coordination with each other.

Diplomacy doesn't end when war happens, and there was never anything "unilateral" done in the global war on terror, in any theater of engagement we've been involved with.

If you seek to "completely misrepresent the facts", then I doubt if your master's thesis will reflect the truth of the matter.

30+ years in construction Joeseph, we are a nation of nation builders on many levels, and your talking with an expert.

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 11, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

@Eric in New Mexico:

I knew that Al Qaeda, led by Bin Laden was planning major "spectacular attack" nine months before this "communique, Telecom message" was written. I even tried calling, then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in her office in Washington D.C. But, even if her administrative assistant had permitted me to speak with her, today as I look back, I'm not really sure how convincing I would have been and what exactly I would have said to her while calling from Italy?

The spin up for Al Qaeda launching a "spectacular attack" was in the Italian media approximately ten months prior to 9/11. Originally I had thought, that they were planning the attack in Genoa, Italy, where the G8 conference was being held during June 2001, that would have been the likely place for Al Qaeda to strike, and maybe they even tried, but we will never know the details almost a decade later. Eric, with all do respect, I know that I am speaking with an expert, I certainly do not question the authenticity of this "cable" that you've presented on Dip.Note, it is just that I am adamantly against the logic and reasoning behind it. I'm against the type of military intervention that took place in Afghanistan, we could have done it completely differently if, it would have been simply a "limited" Special Operations Forces, operation ousting Al Qaeda, not a major conventional "style", full blown military engagement, with "no-end in sight...resulting in massive-civilian casualties, many which are not reported, unless one were to look at the Wiki-Leaks media release."

I will stick to my guns on this one, to reiterate: Resolving the conflict in Afghanistan and bringing stability for Afghanistan and the region, that this process is clearly not a military solution, but a Political one, "requiring" diplomacy, not military firepower.

I'm also against the catagorizing of the Taliban, along with Al Qaeda and militant fundamentalist groups, the Taliban are interwoven in Afghan society and they represent the tribal leaders and a segment of Afghan society, where as, Al Qaeda does not.

My masters thesis, is a work in progress and it is on a entirely different topic, related to culture and the Muslim population residing in Northern Italy, my hypothesis represents the cultural differences and conflict prevelant between Islamic culure, residing in a European Catholic society.

Eric, I would not question a formal diplomatic cable, such as what you have shared on this blog, I am not sure why you would even address the authenticity of this message?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 11, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Joeseph,

If you are going to imply that I'm a "warmonger" you better get your facts strait.

Many more civilians (by a factor of at least 10) have been killed by taliban , al quaida, Iranian quods force "special groups", than Allied opperations has.

There has been a deliberate killing of civilians and an unitentional one.

We know who's done what.

We could have done things a lot differently from get go, got angry, and nuked al-quaida.

Would have given bin laden exactly what he wanted to justify his "holy war" in setting up 9/11 as the trigger for such a response.

So we did it the right way even though it was the "hard" way, and costs us more in the long term in money, blood, and time consumed fighting them.

Fact is, the "easy" way would have discredited our whole purpose in being the beacon of freedom we expect to be to people.

I warned the CIA during that interview in 2005 that "mistakes in targeting" would turn folks against us. That's on record.

But what you wrote here is just pure BS...a myopic one-sided twisting of your own individual angst and inability to grasp what has been going on.

Whatever dude...you can thank me later for setting you strait on this;

"The killing of countless civilians, mostly by ISAF and U.S. air-strikes is entirely counterproductive, and will only lead to more hatred and animosity towards Americans and for the Western world. You analogy, has lead to conflict, mayhem and amplified the perceived conflict of culture, between the West and the Muslim world."

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 11, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

@Eric in New Mexico:

The overall strategy in Afghanistan, focused on the military component and combat operations, is in line with "Conflict escalation", and counterproductive, in my view. In answering your question, "pouring in of thousand's of troops and civilian personnel, etc." and given the military operations, this is clearly categorized as "Conflict Escalation", not Conflict Resolution. Over the course of the past nine years, there has been far too many Afghan civilian casualties, many so tragic and unnecessary, only to fuel the ego of the military brass, insisting on using "superior air-power" as the preferred method for engaging a perceived enemy. Give me a break on this, we are "foreign occupiers" imposing on someone else's' turf and culture. Much of what you have said I fully support and agree with, but I refuse in going as far as to validating the fundamental principles of our military strategy in Afghanistan and our reverting to violence, undoubtedly amplified greatly from a "full-scale" deployment by Combat Forces and all of the hardware that follows.
My former Commanding General, when I was on active duty once told me; "It's O.k. to disagree......"

In the perfect world, "I would be given the position and appointed as" Undersecretary of State, for Euro-Asian Affairs, or Special Representative for Central Asian-Affairs along with the responsibility of fixing; Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan -- the really tough assignment and if the U.S. Department of State would offer me such a position, along with the responsibilities, I would fix this mess within 12 months. No further comment is necessary.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 11, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Joeseph,

P.S. The logic was sound then as it is today.
We have yet to dismantle the sponsors of terror that keep rearming taliban, and al-quaida.

Logic would dictate they would have run out of bullets long before this without such help.

You can't get to "reconciliation" or "reintegration" or a "political solution" when taliban declare themselves "undefeated" on the battlefield. No way, no how..can't get there from here...forgetaboutit.

What you can do to create the space needed for diplomacy is to create the conditions for their utter unconditional surrender to walk the path of peace, and "incentivise them" as it were.

This is the way wars are won and have been forever.

You can be;

"..adamantly against the logic and reasoning behind it. I'm against the type of military intervention that took place in Afghanistan, we could have done it completely differently if, it would have been simply a "limited" Special Operations Forces, operation ousting Al Qaeda, not a major conventional "style", full blown military engagement,..."

As Karzai once put it."Without security, nothing can be built."

A lot has been built Joeseph, because folks provided security for that to happen.

See, what you are implying here is that you think it's better to negotiate with terrorists than hunt them and kill them like the rabid dogs they are.

Well, when have they ever listened to reason?

Taliban could have turned al-quaida over and probably remained in political control.

But they made their choice didn't they?

I gotta say if you have had the time to review all the thousands of bits of random intel in the Wiki leaks, (enough to try and justify your stance) then you arn't getting a whole lot done on your thesis. Thus I think you toss this out without even having a real clue what's in them.

You base conclusion without even doing the research and stick it in my face bro, go ahead...make my day.

How far back in time you want to go?

I've known some interesting folks in my life, one of whom presented flowers as a boy to both Nixon and Kruchev as he happened to be a member of the Afghan Royal Family.

You might say I've had an "inside source" to the history...

I said there was "a thesis in there somewhere" but I wasn't exactly talking about my words as there's an entire book's worth on this blog...(chuckle).

No, I don't think a whole lot of folks would say you should "stick to your guns" on this, if you want folks to lay down their weapons and walk the road to peace.

You are of a "young" mind, such arrogence is normal.

The Precepts of Ptah-Hotep, c. 2200 BCE

(excerpt)

"Inspire not men with fear, else Ptah will fight against you in the same manner. If any one asserts that he lives by such means, Ptah will take away the bread from his mouth; if any one asserts that he enriches himself thereby, Ptah says: I may take those riches to myself. If any one asserts that he beats others, Ptah will end by reducing him to impotence. Let no one inspire men with fear; this is the will of Ptah. Let one provide sustenance for them in the lap of peace; it will then be that they will freely give what has been torn from them by terror."

(Full text of the "good sayings" can be found here.)

http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/discussion_engagement_muslim...

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 12, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

"Correction to my previous posting"

For Eric in New Mexico and U.S. Department of State Dip.note readers:

You always do mention some valid points, but I am not a young man in my mid-twenties, as your commentary suggests. I have over 24 years of combined military and federal service myself, meaning, real world experience besides finishing my Masters program in Conflict Resolution. I disagree with the fundamental principle based on your recent commentary:

"You can't get to "reconciliation" or "reintegration" or a "political solution" when Taliban declare themselves "undefeated" on the battlefield. No way, no how..can't get there from here...forgetaboutit [ii]".

"Yes, you can Eric, by scaling down considerably the troop presence on the ground throughout Afghanistan, and by having the principle actors involved fully engaged with the "re-building process" of Afghanistan, bring the Taliban and Tribal leaders to the negotiation and mediation table, along with the Karzai government.
"Daaa...""Reconciliation" will be the key element in resolving the conflict in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, but all major actors would have to "for-take" in this dialogue process. Security for Afghanistan is not the continuation of "offensive military operations" throughout the region. If the reconciliation process were to take place, including a representation of Tribal leaders and the Taliban, this process could lead to the end of hostilities in the region, and open the diplomatic door for the "much needed Political solution" and for engagement with "nation building". Eric, with all do respect and for those within the State Department reading this blog, my attitude is "Yes, we can bring a Political and peaceful solution in Afghanistan and for the region". On Wiki-Leaks: I listen to and subscribe to several BBC blogs, and the coverage from London on BBC World News has been extensive, I do not have to read all of the released documents from the conflict in Afghanistan, I've spent a thirteen year span of my Army career employed for General Officers in Signal commands, God knows I've seen my share of "Cables and Telecom military message traffic", it's not about the quantity, it is the point of transparency and openness with what is really going on in this region of conflict, and Julian Assange and the producers of Front-line, have accomplished this brilliantly by presenting "non-bias media coverage". Finally, I know a lot has been built in Afghanistan, and this effort is commendable, but we need to do better, much better in resolving this conflict.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 12, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(Whitehouse briefing excerpt Aug 11)

Q You just talked a minute ago about how the early part of the campaign was a lot about the war in Iraq, and the President was pretty critical of the surge. Does the President now think the surge worked and was a good idea?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I would give you the answer that I think the President gave standing both in and near Iraq in 2008, that the surge was intended to do two things -- it was intended to augment the security environment so that we could change the political environment. There’s no doubt that the bravery and heroism of our troops and those additions added to impacting that security environment. What we wanted to see more of is a change in the political environment. And we are making progress toward establishing -- we’ve had another election -- establishing a new government and enabling us to change our mission in Iraq.

Q So was that improved security environment provided --

MR. GIBBS: As the President said it would when it happened, yes, the adding X number -- X thousand number of troops is likely to improve the security environment. But again, the security environment alone wasn’t going to change our mission in Iraq. We can’t -- we have a stability in a political system now and making progress toward a new government that does allow us to meet the President’s commitment of transitioning our combat role. That was tremendously important.

Q So I guess just bottom line, do you think he does think it worked in the sense that perhaps under his own tenure, because the security environment was improved, he was able to bring about these changes?

MR. GIBBS: Again, the security improved as we all believed that it would. It has taken longer to see the correlating political gains, but we’re far enough along now in some of those political gains that we can transition that role. I think the role that Vice President Biden and others have played in changing that political environment has been tremendously important to the overall cause.

And I will say this. Lest we not forget that it was Iraqi leaders in 2008 that said -- they also not just in the SOFA, but there was discussion obviously by Prime Minister Maliki about a timetable for transition that was enormously similar to that proposed by then-candidate Obama.

Q It just seems like you guys are pointing to Iraq and this drawdown and this date as a success, and I wondered if you give any credit to former President Bush and the surge as contributing to what you guys regard as a success.

MR. GIBBS: Again, I think that there’s no doubt that, as Democrats and Republicans said, we would have security gains -- that as we talked about throughout the campaign and I think were criticized for, a military role alone was not going to change our mission in Iraq, because if you have security gains but not the responsibility of a functioning government to take the responsibility of both providing the security and executing its civilian duties, it would be hard to transition.

-end excerpt-

To me, the President of these United States is not simply "Chief Executive" and the "Commander in Chief", he wears another hat that's seldom talked about but often worn on the world stage.

That's his title of "Instigator in Chief" and change happens because of it.

He's the guy folks look to, to remove roadblocks to human progress and America leads while others follow because of that.

As this concerns mending fences, leading the herd to greener pastures, forming posses, and dealing with varmints and outlaws in his role as "Cowboy Diplomat";
My advice to the fellow from Chicago is still the same as I gave to the fellow who wore this hat previously, and isn't likely to change anytime soon for the next one that does.

"We've been accused of playing world cop, as a nation. If you ask any officer on any street in the U.S. what his/her least favorite call to get is and they'll more than likely say, "Domestic disputes". This is the only politically correct way I can think to describe the current world situation. If we must play that role, they need to understand that there's a new sheriff in town, determined to prevent domestic violence.
This goes as well for the Mideast, the Korean, and other long standing conflicts.
To "protect and serve humanity, and ensure the preservation of civilization, of all cultures, and ways of tradition that an individual or nation has the inalienable right to choose for themselves as they see fit, so long as it harms no other individual's, or nation's ability to do so."
With this as our philosophy, as policy, the "undiscovered country" may become reality. This is not a role that should be played unilaterally, as it is essentially all nation's task.""Isotope Road" 1/8/2002

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 12, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@Eric in New Mexico

I agree 100 percent, we all will have to stay vigil and alert. This melting pot of terrorism is like a disease which has already cost our Nation a deficit God knows how in the world are we ever to get back into a normal society without terrorism.

1. Bill the new Iraq Government 2 Trillion dollars for the service our country has given them over the years. President Barack Obama can use Congress and the United States Senate to Bill BP OIL for 20 Billion dollars, why not BILL IRAQ for services rendered in providing security in that country. We helped rebuild it, Saddam Hussain is gone, Our Military succeeded in completing the Military Objectives, now is the time to BILL them. If they can't pay in cash over the next few years, just have them pay in the OIL they export. After all our country has paid the price in "Blood and Gutts."

2. Afghanistan should be paying the United States not the other way around. If were in there helping with a Government then they should be paying the tab, NOT the American people.

3. If these countries refuse to pay, then this should be the time to leave the country. Our troops should be given the respect and these Governments need to pay UP!

The Wikileaks website in my opinion is very dangerous and should be shutdown. The owner of the Website should be taken to court over treason acts. Any time documents being released online without proper release by the US Government should receive the highest penalty. Especially, if it can endanger our troops lives.

The Reason why the Pentagon is treading its budget is because who thunk of coming up with 14 Billion dollar ships? Its like putting all your eggs in one basket.

I withdraw my offer to put a team together (Wolf Hunters) only because in my opinion with the existing corruption, dirty playing, money being funnelled into these countries and it's our people who always have to be on guard.

4. While people are encourging new technology in these Muslim State Countries, remember that saying, "What goes around, comes around."

5. I believe the FBI is doing a fantastic JOB at trying to track these known terrorists. They certainly have one of the highest respects to the United States Government. I salute what they have accomplished. We all should take a step back, and be proud of the Professional People well trained to investigate Federal Crimes the FBI Teams do so well. Forensic Teams, Divers, Brilliant people who put their lives on the line to protect our country. Well Done!!!

6. The Central Intelligence Agency appears to always take the wrap when something goes wrong. Well, they are not the only Intelligence Agency in the United States. They also put their lives on the line to protect our Freedoms and Deserve the Highest Respect from Americans.

7. "We all have a stake in the United States Government to ensure Freedom and Democracy exists to protect our American Constitution Rights are given. Thats what people have fought for over the years. All people, all races, all religions in the United States should be respected.""Quote from Katherine Graham""We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the
general public does not need to know, and shouldn't. I believe
democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps
to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print
what it knows."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 12, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Donald,

Thanks man, I appreciate that.

I would say that on point1 that we have a certain tradition to uphold in that we don't bill nations for having liberated their people.

Their thanks and lasting friendship is the best return on the investment.

---

Billing China for having helped create the North Korean Frankenstien over decades of coddling and propping up in the name of "stability" is a completely different animal.

Since there is no formal peace, North Korea violated then withdrew from cease-fire arangements that have been in place for the last 50 years, yeah I do believe the bill for maintaining peace and security could be drawn up and handed to China as "war reparations", and a followup if 'lil kim starts a war with us.

'Lil Kim won't be around to pay their bill the second time around if China seeks compensation from him direct for this first one.

Their screw-up, their responsibility to fix it, just as we did as a nation in fixing our own mistakes in leaving Saddam in power after '91 and after leaving Afghans to sleep in the rubble after we helped them liberate themselves from Soviet occupation.

This is the second reason why we arn't going to bill either Iraqis nor Afghans for anything associated with correcting these mistakes.

So I hope you understand my thinking on this, because if there's a trend to set here, we might as well bill Iran to the point the government crumbles under the weight of debt to us right now for all their screw-ups they've made with us over the years.

I sure hope some well intended folks on Dipnote's staff pass this little gem upward and onward to Stuart Levy, the Sec. of State, and the Whitehouse for what no doubt will be a rip roaring belly laugh when they consider the absolute clear-cut logic behind this.

If money talks, China will listen to the American public.

Why I feel the need to be relentless in my commentary Donald ...(chuckle) isn't anything personal my friend.

"I'm just a terrorist's worst nightmare, at your service."

What about this doesn't anyone understand yet?

(LOL!)

Eventually we'll just have to file a "mechanic's lien" on the sponsors of terror and become the repo-man of the world, not just it's cop.

Folks everywhere will thank us eventually for this.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 12, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Joeseph, the only "unbiased media" I've ever encountered is C-span.

I said you are of a "young mind" and that dosn't involve age requirements.

(chuckle) I have this reputation for "great lead ins" , being like a "fly on the wall in some very private conversations." and my Mom swears up and down that her eldest son has inhereted a certain gift that is passed on and manifest in every other generation's first born in that side of the family.

There's pre-emption, and then there's premonition, combine the two and you'll understand how hard I laughed in your suggesting you should be appointed "Under Secretary of State".

My mom may be absolutly right, but I perfer the scientific method, logical deduction, grinding dicipline and exaustive investigation to reach my conclusions.

A "house painter with way too much time on his hands to think about things" has no buisiness telling his government how to fight a war, build nations, or create the peace from scratch.

One would think anyway...

Yet as a friend from Afghanistan once described the letter I posted here, having had no idea I was doing so when we had that chat, he told me then on reading it that he thought I should QUOTE "become the next Ambassador to Afghanistan." UNQUOTE and he was serious.

There's better people to fill that post I told him, and thanked him for the sentiment.

Another friend who was a true master chef described the letter thusly;

"It is as if you had decided to cook a meal that no one had tasted before, took what limited ingrediants you had down off the shelf to make it, and at the very same moment the government was making a meal no one had tasted before and with all the ingrediants they had to work with, took the very same one's off the shelf, mixed them in the same proportion as you, and made this meal from scratch that tasted exactly like your's did.
The only thing is you sent them the recipe before they cooked it."

You have a lot to learn about conflict resolution Joeseph, in that terrorists don't negotiate, they just don't know how to.

While through combined methods of force and persuasion we may get some who can find the spark of empathy to walk off the battlefield to "go home and take care of their mothers"
(this is taken directly from the Koran as a concept), you arn't going to incentivise them by walking away from the fight before this.

You should be fully aware of the "rifleman's creed" sir.

Maybe you forgot why it is valid after all these years.

It seems given the transcripts posted here, that you have a long way to go before this governmenbt agrees with you, or appoints you to any position of responsibility.

You just arn't with the program apparently.

Yeah , as your CO said, "...we can disagree." but did you follow his orders anyway?

Or did you walk away from the fight?

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 12, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@Eric in New Mexico

I guess its okay we might not always see "Eye to Eye" on who should pay for these wars. Its not like Osama bin laden is going to pay for the thousands of lives he has taken from innocent people. Our Treasury Department is not the endless supply of money which continues to print and grow on trees. Countries like Pakistan should be requesting loans from the United States NOT handouts. President Bill Clinton gave the country of Mexico a loan which benefited both the Mexican Government and the US Government. So why isn't the United States offering a loan to Pakistan so they can pay something back? I think that would be more fair to ask of a country especially when Billion and Millions continue pouring into Pakistan. When our country is faced with OIL spills and hurricanes, do we see the country of Pakistan offering any support?

The US Government is NOT the Santa Clause of the World. How is this Smart power by giving away what other people work hard for in life? The sweat and hard labor our people work for in the United States just given without offering a loan to these countries first? People in the United States can't even get approved for Loans, but we have billions of dollars going overseas to aid countries? Its about time these countries pay something back, or atleast sign an agreement into a loan to pay our Nation back. Our kids that attend school today not all can get a free lunch, but yet we feed other countries?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 12, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Now I know why I've been feeling like I've been through this before with Joeseph, and I don't really feel like repeating myself over and over and over, but I totally understand why the State dept does so to try to get the message out.

http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entires/q_afghans_pakistanis_promote_st...

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 12, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

@Eric and Donald:

Eric, I obviously, do not "see eye to eye" with your analysis on Afghanistan, and with resolving the conflict in this strategically important part of the World. I did the academic analysis on the conflict, with my graduate class-mates last year and we developed a strategy for resolving the conflict, by applying the concepts of "conflict mapping", and by including all of the actors involved in resolving this conflict -- meaning, the Afghan Central Government, the Tribal leaders, the Ulama, the Taliban, the Western powers and the regional neighbors, such as Pakistani tribal leaders and the Pakistan Government. We presented our findings in a 90 minute "in-class presentation", it is really amazing how our group of graduate students all agreed on resolving this conflict, and a fundamental point was, "you do not exclude" a key actor who has a stake in the re-building of Afghanistan from the dialogue and peace-building process. So, the Taliban like it or not, are part of this process and they should not be lumped together, as your commentary suggests, with Al Qaeda, or continuously referred to as "terrorist". Moreover, during the Soviet Occupation of the 1980's, when we needed the Taliban, in ousting the "evils of Communism", they were the "Mujahideen" and financially supported by our government, our highly paid allies. The Taliban, are a segment of Afghan society, intertwined with the Provinces, communities and the people of Afghanistan, the Karzai government knows this.

I agree with Donald in Virginia, the U.S. government is not a "Global police force" or a "global humanitarian aid-package", we can try to continue this policy and bring the Federal Deficit to 20 Trillion, which is only months away, I certainly would not continue this policy that future generations, including my Sons and their Sons will have to pay for, eventually. But, our Federal government, can keep trying for years to come, as the deficit reaches astronomical proportions.
I'm in favor of unfettered humanitarian aid and assistance to Pakistan, a country that is strategically important for U.S. foreign policy and interests -- maybe we should just stop the "drone-launched missile strikes in the Pakistani Tribal regions" and use that money for immediate humanitarian assistance for Pakistani flood victims, wouldn't that make more sense?

We need to get out of the business of going into Islamic Nation-states, and trying to "mold them into a Western "like" democracy", it is simply put -- too costly.

Thanks for your posting Donald M., you've mentioned some very valid points.

For Eric, on the brighter side, for your information, I'm not an avid viewer of "Fox-News", not a fan of the "O'Rilley Factor", Glenn Beck and I will not vote for neo-conservative Sarah Palin in 2012. Eric, you are obviously on the other side of the fence, than my own personal political views. Politics, does play a role in our country for influencing our policy and strategy abroad, in Central Asia, the Middle-East and elsewhere. I do not agree with the neo-conservative, "fear-mongering" narrative.

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 12, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

@Eric in New Mexico:

Thank-you for sharing the link, on what "we could do with improving stability for Afghanistan and Pakistan". I'm sure you've read thoroughly what my analysis is, and what I presented in class by applying "conflict mapping" concepts?

Have a good afternoon.

donald m.
|
Virginia, USA
August 12, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ Joseph A.M. in Oregon

Thanks Joseph, I think we all have valid points. Maybe that is why we decided to Join the Blog, to offer anything that would help. The goal should be to find peaceful solutions. Sometimes I can even agree with Eric, but we all have unique backgrounds, thoughts and ideas which no doubt have been useful to the State Department. We get into war of words but its just disagreements. Eric did provide the link and even I took a gather at it, and it reminded me of what was said awhile back. We have been at this for period of time. I think we all want everyone in the world to have Freedom and be able to vote which includes women. This really isn't about your political stand but about people itself. We keep trying to divide ourselves from one another? Why can't we all find common ground with each other regardless of political affiliation, Republican or Democrat makes NO difference, what matters is PEOPLE! What should matter is saving lives, NOT destroying lives! How can we move forward if we can't even get along on a simple BLOG, but we expect others to get along. We have to set the example, and continue to offer solutions. We all share something to the table of knowledge and skill.

Peace and Goodwill to all!!!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 12, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well Donald, we're trying to address the same problems from different starting points is all. I think we can work this out to mutual satisfaction though.

Should we send Pakistan the bill for creating the taliban with the money they siphoned off when we helped Aghans defeat the Soviets and funneled the resources through Pakistan to do so?

They are reaping the rewards of their own mistake in car bombing after car bombing in Peshwar and other cities and the threat to their own soveregnity that has proven taliban to be.

Congress only helped them when they proved they were willing to help themselves deal with it. With overwhelming force. And seeing is believing I guess.

If we disagree on anything it's probably that I don't think the sins of a government should be taken out on its people if they wern't involved, and the vast majority of Pakistanis have never supported terrorism.

Here's a government that does acknoledge the mistake it has made , and seeks to correct it.

Is that worthy of our support? Congress seemed to think so.

Now about this conundrum we face I think there's a way to get there from here and resolve all the issues you brought up, which go way beyond this topic thread's subject matter, but are problematic for us none the less.

Well, the bill I suggested we send China right now (even though we've offered them our assistance in their own natural disasters) would cover every bit of our own national debt, erasing it.

What do you think that would do for our economic outlook?

I'm not an Economics Major, so maybe you have a better clue what that would look like than I do.

Still looking for work with 99 weeks cut-off fast approaching, a yo-yo on congressional purse strings for most of this year, winter coming just around the corner and a real bleak outlook for my job prospects at present...I'm probably not one to give you an unbiased assesment on the effects that would have if China payed it without quibling and resolved their mistake by removing the nuclear terrorist that 'Lil Kim has become today...and thretening nuclear war on a regular basis makes him worthy of the designation even before he makes that manifest with the act itself.

No, China doesn't have a legal leg to stand on if we did bill them.

They are now become a sponsor of terror, pure and simple. They don't have an excuse.

This is the "Instigator in Chief"'s decision to make, or not to make. Not mine.

Our discussion is in a way are parrallel to that in Congress in some respects.

All I can say is that this government is getting the best free advice they could ask for from me, while I still have a roof over my head and internet capability.

Given the quality of audio-production I've seen of late in press briefings, they have a "multi-tasker" right here that can get that job done right, keep the paint from peeling, and drop ideas in folk's laps on a daily basis all at the same time.

There isn't a "cookie cutter approach" that works for every economic incentive we use to create a safer more prosperous world, that much I think is a "given."

But there are traditions to uphold and lives to be saved, and I think there's a time to be patient with folks and a time to move them off their butts regardless of the complaints the "Instigator in Chief" gets for doing so.

Maybe I just gave him another option to add to the one's he already has. I probably owe him a pair of cowboy boots at this point for those backsides he'll scuff them up upon in the future. Gotta have the right tool for the job and dress appropriately on those special occasions....(chuckle).

Folks know where and how to reach me if they think they should thank me for the last decade of effort. At least for a few more weeks anyway.

If the State Dept. doesn't have a position for "a terrorist's worst nightmare." on staff, I guess I'll just have to prove why they need to create that job description and the paygrade comensurate with it, won't I?

There's just no present carreer track nich I'd fit into, so I guess I'll have to just create one based on mutual interest.

(cheeky dry humor included free of charge).

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 12, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Guys, here's a little comparitive analysis;

The President said, “We will act with the full recognition that our success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan. We’re in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That’s why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border.”

(from the link posted)

Ok, so here's "exit options" ground rules from get go...

"I will base the following on the assumption that the military surgery undertaken will remove the cancer in a similar fashion as in WW2-unconditional surrender.(*)"
EJ -9/19/2001

I rest my case unless folks want to stick to their guns and score political points.

Hell, I'll work with anyone that thinks my ideas have legs...and I absolutely detest partisanship, it's made my life very interesting of late.

It's a funny thing, but this registed democrat went to a Republican Senator to ask for their help...( I've said all I want to say about that) but there's someone who deserves my thanks in that office, for helping bust an age old American urban myth, that this government doesn't give a damn what it's citizens think.

Took the laughter of her peers on the chin as his secretary for even asking about how far "exit options" and other letters had gone.

She said, "Eric, you know I'm going to take a lot of flack for this, but you've got me curious now. We don't get letters like this very often and I understand why you've made this request, I'll do what I can."

They wern't laughing when they got back with her as she told me, and that's why I know they got passed around amonst quite a few people at State, on the Hill, and in the Whitehouse.

What can I say but it has stood the test of time and bipartisanship as Strategic Policy in the Global War on Terror.

It's not about being Eye to Eye or even an Eye for an Eye, it's about having vision to constuct change we can live with.

It's that simple.

And were going to have to kill a lot of terrorists to make that happen and we've been doing just that.

Folks say we "took our eye off the ball" well I don't know about that, we got thousands of terrorists down ouit of those hills to come get stuck in the honey pot like ants at a picnic, in Iraq. Never to return to bother anyone again in Afghanistan.

Folks don't seem to appreciate just how we've gone about all this as a nation over the years, but the bottom line is that the sponsors of terror that are left still have their day of reckoning ahead.

I need all the help I can get to get this job done and I'm not shy in the asking for it.

The stakes demand nothing less of my family honor to end this war on our terms, not the terrorist's.

Granddad had his own political battles with beaurocracy in his day, and as to the kind of "can do attitude" he helped win that war with in trying to put a team together to get that done, here's a little more historical perspective to chew on;

Date was sometime in '42-'43 when written;

To: Sidney Newberger
From: E R J

Subj: Security Clearances

I have recently learned that the average time for security clearances
on a large number of cases was 63 days. This is the gestation period
for a dog. Do you suppose that you might get it down to a rabbit?

E.R.J.

---

Well that was then, he got it down to a rabbit because he was an "impatient patriot" and last I checked with someone at the labs the time it takes today is something on the order of the gestation period of a Blue Whale.

And folks wonder why this war is taking so long to win...this is just one facet of the overall factors that are involved.

Attitude is everything, nothing can succeed without it. And we lose if we fail to understand this.

Let's git 'er done.

Joseph M.
|
Oregon, USA
August 12, 2010

Joseph A.M. in Oregon writes:

For Donald in Virginia, Eric and Dip.Note readers:

Thank-you for your commentary today, well said, well put! Honestly, I wholeheartedly agree with you, the emphasis and focus should be on "people", on improving the quality of life, bringing peace and stability and a more tolerable livelihood to the developing world. This is about people, empowering women and bringing a peaceful resolution to regions of conflict.

I agree, we should discard the politics, find common ground and work towards a unified goal, regardless of our disagreements. What an interesting concept, related to Conflict Resolution, "common-ground?"

The U.S. Department of State, is getting the best, insightful and intellectual analysis from the Dip.Note site, more so than any media news blog posting and very similar to the insightful commentaries you'll find on BBC's World Have Your Say (WHYS) broadcast -- just based on our discussion and arguments, I agree with Eric on this. Moreover, its all for free, so I really should refrain from providing too many, thoughtful analysis on conflict -- I'm nearly finished with my thesis and Masters and we should be financially compensated for our hours of well thought out ideas, suggestions and analysis.

Thank-you for sharing your post.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 13, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

When Diplomacy fails to deliver a reasonable lasting peace, or we face a 9/11 as we did Pearl Harbor, there is an attitude that gets the job done.

"This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!"

Let there be peace.

dinesh a.
|
India
August 15, 2010

Dinesh A. in India writes:

I dont know how many terror strikes inside our own countries and now by people brought up inside home who ate drank lived enjoyed full freedom would it take for us to wake up and realise that certain sections of soceity no matter how they are treated are always inclined to violence simply because they cant accept other faiths they are always sulking digruntled non adjusting and at war.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 15, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Dinesh,

Yeah, you'd think folks in the miliary would invent a "smart bomb" that would wise people up, and give them an attitude adjustment.

A fish-oil and nitrous oxide MOAB, maybe?

(chuckle)

You gotta wonder what it will take somedays...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 17, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Daily Press Briefing
August 16, 2010
TRANSCRIPT:

1:37 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. A couple of things to talk about before taking your questions. Today, the Secretary spoke on the Global Health Initiative: The Next Phase of American Leadership in Health around the World at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Global Health is linked to every major foreign policy goal of the United States, from reducing conflict to fostering economic and political opportunities, and in our interconnected world stopping the spread of disease is a matter of critical national interest.

QUESTION: Every foreign policy goal of the United States is related to global health?

MR. CROWLEY: Every foreign policy goal of the United States.

QUESTION: Nonproliferation?

MR. CROWLEY: Of course. You never know what’s in those weapons. (Laughter.) That’s actually true. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Inaudible) if you’re hungry. (Laughter.)

---

Wait just a minute here..., I'm not supposed to be able to pre-empt Matt Lee's "Abbott and Costello" question-time.

Thanks guys, best laugh I've had all week!

Sure put an asterisk on this one...

"Yeah, you'd think folks in the miliary would invent a "smart bomb" that would wise people up, and give them an attitude adjustment.

A fish-oil and nitrous oxide MOAB, maybe?

(chuckle)

You gotta wonder what it will take somedays..."

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