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Friday, Dec 05, 2008 WMD terrorism fears are overblown
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The congressionally authorized Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism issued a report this week that concluded: “It is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013.”
The findings of this report received considerable ink in The New York Times and The Washington Post and plenty of airtime on networks around the world, including on CNN. And the day the report was released Vice President-elect Joseph Biden was briefed on its contents.

(CNN)— The Mumbai attacks remind the world that the intertwined problems of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan will be the most extreme foreign policy challenge that President Obama will face as he assumes office.

To dismantle al Qaeda and its allied jihadist groups, such as the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba that carried out the Mumbai attacks according to Indian and American officials, and also to bring peace to the entire South Asian region, the Obama administration should take the following measures:
Monday, Dec 01, 2008 Mumbai

Commentary: How U.S. should respond to Mumbai attacks Story Highlights Peter Bergen: Investigators are focusing on a Pakistani terror group He says Lashkar-e-Tayyiba draws on wider support than many terrorist groups Bergen: Aim of Obama administration should be resolving Kashmir dispute He says Hillary Clinton has mulled idea of sending special envoy to region By […]

Editor’s note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst and a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington and at New York University’s Center on Law and Security. His most recent book is “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader.” (CNN) — If the audio message purportedly from al Qaeda’s deputy leader is authentic, we have finally heard from a representative of the terror organization about the American election.

CNN National Security Analyst

Editor’s note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst. His most recent book is “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader.” This is one in a series of “letters to the new president” that will appear as commentaries on CNN.com in coming weeks. This commentary is based, in part, on an paper Bergen wrote for the New America Foundation, where he is a senior fellow, and an article he wrote for The New Republic in September, “A Man, A Plan, Afghanistan.”

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A classified review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan is likely to judge that the United States is losing ground there, according to a government official involved with preparing the review.

The review, under way since September 20 and led by Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the senior National Security Council official responsible for Afghanistan and Iraq, has yet to reach any definitive conclusions. But according to one of the participants in the review there was no disagreement among the 24 government agencies that participated that Afghanistan is in a “dire situation.”

Thursday, Nov 06, 2008 Obama Afghanistan/Iraq transition

The Bush administration is making plans for the transition of management of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to the next president.

A review of Afghan policy has been under way for many weeks, led by Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the senior National Security Council official responsible for Afghanistan and Iraq. The classified strategic review is expected to be completed this week, according to a staffer involved in preparing it.

Wednesday, Nov 05, 2008 The Dog that Didn’t Bark
One person who was supposed to weigh in on the American presidential election is someone we have yet to hear from: Osama bin Laden.
Four years ago the al Qaeda leader appeared in a well-lit videotape addressing himself directly to the American people five days before they voted in the contest between Sen. John Kerry and George Bush. Bin Laden said then that whoever won the election was immaterial as far as al Qaeda was concerned and that instead Americans needed to change their country’s foreign policies in the Muslim world, or face the consequences.

When a federal judge ordered the release of 17 Guantanamo Bay detainees earlier this month, it was the first real chance in the seven-year history of the prison camp that any of the prisoners might be transferred to the United States. In making his ruling, the judge categorically rejected the Bush administration’s claim that any of the released prisoners, who are all Chinese Muslims, were “enemy combatants” or posed a risk to U.S. security. The decision was temporarily suspended by the appeals court, but the judge was on solid ground.

Monday, Oct 13, 2008 New America paper on Afghanistan

In late May, some 40 Pakistani journalists received a summons to an unusual press conference held by Baitullah Mehsud, the rarely photographed leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who is accused of orchestrating the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, sending suicide bombers to Spain earlier this year, and dispatching an army of fighters into Afghanistan to attack U.S. and NATO forces in recent months. Surrounded by a posse of heavily armed Taliban guards, Mehsud boasted that he had hundreds of trained suicide bombers ready for martyrdom.

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