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YOU READ IT HERE FIRST – ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Terror Attacks Against U.S. At All-Time High

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By William Tucker
US_Department_of_Homeland_Security_Seal.jpgABC News is reporting that a recently released DHS Intelligence Note is stating attempted terrorist attacks against the U.S. homeland in the last 9 months has surpassed the number of attempts in any previous one year period. For the loyal readers of In Homeland Security, and my previous blog the World of Terrorism, you will note that this has been an ongoing topic of mine going back to September 2009 with the most recent posts falling within the last month. Since that time we have seen the tempo of attempted attacks continue to increase while our capability to thwart these plots has diminished due to mission fatigue.

Adding to this is the impending withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Iraq is showing a semblance of stability, Afghanistan still has many issues that need to be addressed prior to the U.S. withdrawal that is scheduled to take place in a little over a year. For the problems in Afghanistan to be reconciled the different elements that have an interest in the South Asian country will have to negotiate and would like to do so from a position of strength. From the Taliban’s perspective striking the U.S. homeland and doing so in a sustained fashion can have propaganda value for the local audience. If the Taliban can convince the Afghan’s that working with the U.S. is not in their interest the American position would be considerably weakened. Other nations that have an interest in Afghanistan, such as Pakistan and Iran, would also benefit from a weakened U.S. An example of this is the report that the Pakistani ISI has ‘captured’ Mullah Muhammad Omar, the emir of the Taliban, but has not turned him over to the U.S. despite past requests that extradition occur if he is ever apprehended (he is reportedly under house arrest).
The U.S. has a multitude of pressing matters in the foreign affairs arena and really needs to have a free military to protect American interests around the globe. With a military that has been dedicated to Iraq and Afghanistan other commitments have slipped. This does not mean, however, that the U.S. will completely abandon the Muslim world; rather Washington is ready to transition from the holding operation in Afghanistan to a more Special Operations/intelligence oriented posture. This could serve to explain the leeway the Obama administration gave to General Petraeus when he signed the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order authorizing the expanded use of covert operations. The world is experiencing a multitude of problems, as it always is, and could really use the stabilizing force that an unencumbered U.S. military can provide to prevent some situations from getting out of hand. From Washington’s perspective this needs to happen sooner rather than later, but in the meantime the high tempo of terrorist plots against the U.S. will remain as world powers and non-state actors jockey for a better negotiating position.

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