Delay in get-Osama operation was a big mistake: Ex-DIA chief
KABUL (Pajhwok): A former director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said the Americans instead of joint intelligence operations should have conducted joint military action in Pakistan against Al Qaeda remnants.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who retired last year as the agency’s head, was also the Director of Intelligence of ISAF in Afghanistan. He told the BBC Urdu the US should have gone after those involved in the 9/11 attacks and if these elements had been in Pakistan or had left that country as they saw, the US should have put pressure on Islamabad.
He said it was a huge strategic blunder that the US did not move into Pakistan to capture Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden soon after knowing that the 9/11 mastermind had got safe haven in Pakistan.
Had the US not committed that blunder, the capture of Osama would not have taken 10 years, he believed. Flynn said Pakistan had been against the presence of American forces in its tribal areas because Islamabad believed their presence would create problems for the country.
He said the Americans should have conducted joint operations with the Pakistanis focused on right targets and should have told the Pakistanis that these raids were not against any Pakistani but against the Arabs and other foreign militants who had misused Pakistan’s concessions.
Lt. Gen (r) Michael Flynn said it was a wrong idea that the Americans entered Afghanistan but left untouched terrorist safe havens in Pakistan. “We should have put pressure on Pakistan for this. But we made unwise decisions to go to Afghanistan and Iraq and the decisions were a result of a wrong foreign policy.”
He said whatsoever Pakistan was saying today, it would see in the mirror that it had given refuge to terrorists and the history would also say Pakistan could have done much in the war against terrorism what it had done.
The former intelligence chief said he had worked with the Pakistani military and he considered the Pakistan army extremely brave and had many sacrifices in the war against terrorism, but there were many shortcomings in the war’s political aspect.
He said military use in insurgencies had only one aspect and was a minor element in complex wars like terrorism. “We have to think even now how to fight this war.”
Flynn said the international war against terrorism had given birth to a complex situation the world had never seen in the past 75 years. “Now our target is an ideology. I know the element of extremism exists in the world’s religious and political systems. I think one of the political challenges all the Muslim states face today is how to throw away the unbelievable level of extremism.” He said there was a rare example in the history of wars of the use of technology by terrorists in today’s world
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