Yesterday Senator Russ Feingold issued a statement outlining the need to improve our intelligence capabilities:
“It should never take an attempted terrorist bombing for us to notice a long-standing terrorist safe haven. Our national security depends on using all the resources at our disposal to gather and integrate information on threats from around the world, rather than always reacting to the latest crisis. That is why the Senate Intelligence Committee has twice approved bipartisan legislation, originally offered by Senator Hagel and myself, to create an independent commission to reform how our government collects this information and seeks to anticipate threats before they arise. The legislation has already passed the Senate, as part of the Intelligence Authorization bill, and it is my intention to offer it as an amendment to other pieces of legislation in the coming months.
“Those who view Afghanistan as today’s war and Yemen as tomorrow’s fail to understand the nature of our enemy. For years, I have been warning of the threat from Yemen. The answer is not to bounce from war to war, but rather to develop sustainable, global counterterrorism policies based on a deep understanding of the dispersed regions in which al Qaeda operates. We have not heeded the 9/11 commission’s warning that we must focus on ‘remote regions and failing states.’ And we have failed to make use of open information we need in order to anticipate terrorist safe havens and ideological radicalization. Unless we reform how our government collects, reports and analyzes information from around the world, we will remain a step behind al Qaeda’s global network.”
Sen. Feingold has had a long-standing focus on Yemen, dating back to October of 2002, when in a speech from the Senate floor in opposition to the authorization of use of force in Iraq, Sen. Feingold said invading Iraq could be counterproductive in our fight against terrorism and pointed to terrorism in Yemen as an example of where our focus should be.