What is the strength of Al Qaeda today?
Lt. Col Tony Shaffer explains the logical continuation of dismantling Al Qaeda today
- Duration 8:22
- Date May 7, 2012
Lt. Col Tony Shaffer explains the logical continuation of dismantling Al Qaeda today
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Let's bring in that lieutenant colonel Tony shape up from the center for advanced defense studies and -- of course of operation dot com colonel good to see if if you gotta going to be back what does this -- what does this video say about the strength and weakness all want and state al-Qaeda is in right now.
Well it tells us two things first they can communicate clearly when they want to.
This was kind of revealed a little bit this past week -- with the documents which came out regarding the bin Laden raid and clearly this network existed we didn't know it until we got those documents so clearly.
I would argue that despite president Obama's comment that we've killed twentieth that -- top thirty al-Qaeda operatives they -- made ineffective organization secondly.
They also remain very effective their messaging.
On while -- he was a master of propaganda this is clearly -- propaganda victory again.
What better than to have the president of the United States show up in Afghanistan say we're winning the war and then yet.
A week later you've got these guys being able to at will put information out saying not so fast Mr.
But and then -- the the adult humans that we don't live that will made public last week by the countering terror is countering terrorism center upper West Point.
I did appear to show that Osama bin Laden himself.
Was worried about the effect -- that the US and in other international actions what -- against al-Qaeda and that he was worrying about it being degraded.
As an organization would you argue that we have not.
All I would argue we've been very effective however that effectiveness is -- -- not been continued by this administration the administration.
I would argue -- benefited from momentum of the bush years and their own policies are not working against him in two ways first Jonathan one of the things that.
I found out from my sources is that we no longer are implementing to capture part of the kill capture program -- not bringing the high value targets and we're killing them.
And other intelligence officer I'm not a good guy -- like a want these guys to live harbor.
Dead men tell -- -- so we have lost.
And -- by our own internal policies critical a vacuum so.
What we're seeing here is that that vacuum is starting to have an effect that's why we have not found zawahiri we talked you guys were just talking about that.
When -- not continue to does this battle of the network at the pace she would would hope we would second point along that those same line.
Is that as we as we do things to degrade network they reorganize around that what they know we can do they know we listen to -- -- get their their their phones so they're doing things by courier that's why it's so important.
That we go after couriers would try to get these a little guys have very.
Things we did to get bin Laden we have not doing been doing as well the past year that's -- -- not -- the continuation a logical continuation.
Of the dismantling the network as for using the video today.
Then I wouldn't love -- of -- -- would be watching this come all I would imagine that and sort of that there that immediate reaction would be.
-- what does a problem with just killing them that's it it's great it would just take out we know that bad guys let's just take -- -- but your point is that you need to.
-- did that capturing it and keep paying and interrogating.
Can be found more valuable than simply killing -- leadership.
Absolutely that that the drone program has had great effectiveness but like -- -- you can -- we -- become.
Overly relied upon it and I would argue Jonathan -- appoint a war.
The overuse of it is is is perpetuating.
This idea that -- to progress were not.
Arguably what has happened now by the fact we've not had these other victories which we should have logically had regarding Zellweger regarding some of the other.
-- part of put partisan -- of the al-Qaeda leadership and -- Pakistan.
Is the fact that we're not going -- after the network it's much like a law enforcement issue.
When you take down a mafia for example if you wanna go at the bottom start wrapping guys up that's one of the ways we got -- -- through the courier.
We're not doing that now we're killing these guys are sort of guy actually going about doing the hard things of capturing these guys you -- special operations.
Forces we we have great special operations forces they know how to capture instead we're relying on that the drone program.
And politically Johnston a reason is.
This administration doesn't wanna have more prisoners at Guantanamo because they don't -- to have to deal with giving these guys some level of of recourse -- -- habeas corpus issues.
I understand is tough.
But I'm telling you Johnson unless we bring people and capture and interrogate him we're losing critical intelligence that could help us continue the hard work.
Of walking back destroying al-Qaeda permanently that's a very interesting perspective.
I think one of -- a lot of obvious probably haven't sort of sold that.
On the left have expressed -- concern about this -- did the killings.
The campaign of killings by the drones and in particular the taking an event -- I don't know how long Lackey.
In which the president effectively acted as judge jury and executioner all of an American citizen.
Yes -- -- would say that Obama's vision has been more aggressive than the bush administration and -- Afghanistan Pakistan militarily and really gone way beyond.
The bush mandate but I would agree with colonel shape of that yes I think the drone attacks are counter -- -- -- them on and on many levels they foment anti Americanism in in Pakistan and and everywhere else.
And I and I think we do need to capture them and to get that intelligence and I think we need.
Whoever these people are there's some sort of due process is called for especially involving American citizens are.
I love it colonel -- movie all into.
Another subject as well have you here if you don't mind talking to -- -- and our correspondent in -- Jerusalem today.
About the -- -- not snap elections that the move forward elections that prime minister Netanyahu wants that September fault and that Lehman was causing the theory that's being.
Talked about that that that -- that would give Netanyahu a two month window in which he would have a much -- And because of the imminent US elections to attack Iran would you say that is -- -- real looking theory on the -- -- Israeli leadership.
Absolutely I think a sly like a fox thinking they're absolutely I think that gives them a lot more range of options.
And frankly the other issue here were looking at is the Obama White House the Obama White House.
We'll have to make some very hard decision on what they would do or not do and and frankly if the Israeli government feels this handers are encumbered are left -- -- to do whatever the heck they want.
The bottom -- -- may not have much leverage there to prevent anything regarding before our own election now -- that said.
There's rumors here that one of the reasons -- Obama administration.
Leaked certain information about forward based Israeli assets recently was a slow the process down so that the Israelis couldn't do any thing.
Until that October timeframe and -- -- here.
Jonathan that there may be an October surprise -- the Obama administration side with the Israelis to do something militarily.
Obama -- Obama -- wartime president so that may be.
Something in the cards here which we had neither side can.
Can I think got almost a cross fertilization of political purposes you know to achieve something against the Iranians today.
Rangers and a lot of people have told about this up point to one of our view is making here colonel.
Quote visited Campos says an Israeli attack on Iran.
Will ignite a war with Iran and -- shadow -- with China and North Korea.
What about this -- whole idea that an Israeli attack against Iran would just.
Bring about this huge conflagration that nobody could really predict where it would head does that worry you will -- pretty effectively breaking -- Yes and -- and here's why first off the moment you have armed conflict.
Our gas -- to eight dollars and again a -- I guarantee you secondly you don't know the potential outcome or what did north Koreans would do what the Iranians would do.
Regarding Hezbollah and other you know shatter one of the articles out -- -- -- red.
Talked about the fact that there's now evidence that the the Iranians are using their mosques here United States -- potential commander control centers.
Which means they could -- things here so the unintended consequences are unknown consequences -- could be huge.
And that's for the Obama mistress I think it's -- it's best they've already said publicly they're gonna go with the Israelis that there is -- -- -- however that maybe it may not be our best interest long term.
Because of these unintended consequences the economic or kill our economy frankly and an economy that the first world we do this so we have to think very careful before we choose.
Armed conflict the potential solution -- the issue.
Yes some fascinating decisions going to be made on Iran in the next few months lieutenant colonel Tony -- Of the center for advanced defense studies and author of all of operation dot com great to have you Phillips has always -- thank you Jonathan thanks very much indeed.