Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The CIA's second-in-command: 'Syria's volatile mix of al Qaeda extremism & civil war now poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security"

"...Mr. Morell's stark assessment shows how much the U.S. has at stake as it reluctantly prepares to arm Syrian rebels in the coming weeks while continuing to confront an al Qaeda that has dispersed across the globe. His forecast is all the more worrisome because it comes from a top official who other officials say is skeptical of current administration plans to arm the rebels.... 
Still, Syria is his top concern. "It's probably the most important issue in the world today," he said, "because of where it is currently heading." Its current track is toward the collapse of its central government, he said.
He said there are now more foreign fighters flowing into Syria each month to take up arms with al Qaeda-affiliated groups, than there were going to Iraq to fight with al Qaeda at the height of the war there....
With al Qaeda, Mr. Morell said, the threat has morphed into one in which there is less of a risk of a strike on the scale of the 2001 attacks but a greater likelihood that diplomatic posts would be attacked.
Both the U.S. and al Qaeda have had their share of victories over the past decade. The U.S. has "significantly degraded" the group's capabilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said. He didn't discuss the CIA's role in killing off so many al Qaeda leaders through drone attacks.
"Al Qaeda has had its own victory as well," he said. "The dispersal of al Qaeda is their victory." ..."

No comments: