Al Qaeda Is No Longer The Biggest Threat To The US

It’s not as if the Bush administration ever took al Qaeda to be the biggest threat to the US, August 6, 2001, warnings aside. Even after the 9/11 attacks, bin Laden was pursued with less than post-Pearl Harbor fury. Instead of sending in the army or marines immediately, the CIA was sent in and basically relied on drug/warlords to pursue AQ and OBL. After the fact, the country did not implement the 9/11 commissions recommendations until this year, still has porous security in most aspects, and has done anything of substance to combat terrorism. Indeed, the problem has only been exacerbated by subsequent events.

But even assuming for the sake of the argument that there was a time when AQ was the biggest threat, that time has passed. It has been six years since a stateside operation. Meanwhile, we are bogged down in Iraq, the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, and Pakistanis still have nuclear arsenals capable of making 9/11 look like a traffic accident.

Yet, we have done almost nothing since 9/11 to move the ball forward in the nuclear proliferation realm, other than out a CIA agent working on it for political reasons, and invade a country that was not actually working on a nuclear program.

Remember what Condi Rice said: we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. Truer words were never spoken in a falser context.

Iraq is the commonality that prevents progress on all of these fronts.