"A Comprehensive Strategy To Fight Al-Qaeda"
September 27, 2006
"In a series of recent public statements, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has again denied
that the Clinton administration presented the incoming administration of President George W. Bush with a "comprehensive strategy" against al-Qaeda. Rice's denials were prompted by a September 22 Fox News interview
with Bill Clinton in which the former president asserted that he had "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" with the incoming Bush administration in January 2001. In a September 25 interview, Rice told
the New York Post
, "We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaida,"
adding that, "Nobody organized this country or the international community to fight the terrorist threat that was upon us until 9/11."
of the issue is a January 25, 2001, memo on al-Qaeda from counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
, the first terrorism strategy paper of the Bush administration. The document was central
to the debate over pre-9/11 Bush administration policy on terrorism and figured prominently in the 9/11 hearings held in 2004. A declassified copy of the Clarke memo was first posted
on the Web by the National Security Archive in February 2005.
Clarke's memo (described below
) "urgently" requested a high-level National Security Council review
on al-Qaeda and included two attachments: a declassified December 2000 "Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects"
and the September 1998 "Pol-Mil Plan for al-Qida," the so-called Delenda Plan
, which remains classified."