[StBernard] Landrieu Vows to Pursue New Strategy in War on Terror Despite Stalled Defense Bill
westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jul 20 22:28:18 EDT 2007
Landrieu Vows to Pursue New Strategy in War on Terror Despite Stalled
Defense Bill Shreveport Times: "Landrieu amendment has merit."
WASHINGTON - United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today said she
will continue to push for her legislation to refocus the U.S. mission in the
Middle East on hunting down Osama bin Laden and dismantling the al Qaeda
terrorist organization. She had earlier this week introduced the plan as an
amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill, which stalled after a partisan
deadlock. Sen. Landrieu said she will again offer elements of the proposal
as an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that is
scheduled to be on the Senate floor before the August recess.
Calling it an "idea of merit," The Shreveport Times today editorialized in
favor of Sen. Landrieu's strategy. "From a military standpoint,
search-and-destroy in Afghanistan would have to be a more natural mission
for our ground soldiers than acting as human duct tape on a fragmented
Iraq," the paper wrote.
Sen. Landrieu's proposal states that "it shall be the policy of the United
States Government that the foremost objective of the United States in the
Global War on Terrorism is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, Ayman
al-Zawahiri and other leaders of al Qaeda, and to dismantle the al Qaeda
network." The defense amendment also repositions U.S. troops from Iraq to
Afghanistan to root out and combat al Qaeda forces and authorizes $3.6
billion for counter-terror programs in the region.
"I thank the Shreveport Times for their strong support of my amendment,"
Sen. Landrieu said. "For too long we have prioritized policing a civil war
in Iraq and drawn resources away from defeating the agents of terror who
attacked us. We need to focus our efforts anew on the terrorist network that
orchestrated the devastating Sept. 11 attacks, and that terrorist leadership
is flourishing in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
The Shreveport Times said the legislation was a "responsible and politically
palatable alternative to the standard stay-the-course and cut-and-run
rhetoric." Among the provisions the paper supported was Sen. Landrieu's move
to reestablish the CIA's Alec Station, which was aborted in 2006 after the
Bush Administration determined that bin Laden no longer posed a threat to
the United States. However, the National Intelligence Estimate issued July
17 said al Qaeda remains today the most dangerous threat to the United
Consistent with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, the Landrieu
proposal to the defense bill boosts support for Afghan Security Forces and
NATO forces in Afghanistan and increases to the security cooperation inside
Pakistan. It also adds funding for translators and translation technologies,
drug interdiction and counter-drug activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
and operations to secure the Pakistani and Iranian borders.
As the U.S. draws down combat forces in Iraq, the Landrieu amendment would
limit the mission of remaining combat troops to protecting U.S. and
Coalition personnel and infrastructure; training, equipping and providing
logistical support for the Iraqi Security Forces; and conducting targeted
counter-terrorism operations. Combat resources could then be repositioned
as needed to support the bolstered mission of Operation Enduring Freedom and
the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Under the Landrieu plan, every unit deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan would
be required to meet the baseline C-1 readiness standard. Units would not be
permitted to deploy without the proper training and full complement of
equipment required for their specific mission.
"The Homeland Security Appropriations bill offers another opportunity in the
immediate future to direct American resources and strength to defeating the
biggest, most dangerous threat to our homeland: Osama bin Laden and his al
Qaeda terror network," Sen. Landrieu said.
The text of the Shreveport Times editorial may be read here:
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