December 6th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
8 months ago

Jones on getting Bin Laden: 'We're going to have to get after that'


Washington (CNN) – A top national security adviser to President Obama said Sunday that the administration needs to step up its efforts to capture Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. and the leader of the global terrorism network called al Qaeda.

“The best estimate is that [bin Laden] is somewhere in North Waziristan - sometimes on the Pakistani side of the border, sometimes on the Afghan side of the border,” National Security Adviser James Jones said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “very, very rough mountainous area, generally ungoverned.

“And, we’re going to have to get after that to make sure that this very, very important symbol of what al Qaeda stands for is either once again on the run or captured or killed.”

“By, ‘we’re going to have to get after that,’ you mean a more determined, a more focused – some new effort to get him?,” queried CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

“I think so. We need to make sure that the al Qaeda stronghold in North Waziristan, in that region – which is still actively planning operations, they’re targeting us and targeting our friends and allies – does not become a reality.”

Also Sunday on State of the Union, Jones said the U.S. was working with the Pakistani government to eliminate safe havens for the Taliban and al Qaeda in the eastern parts of Pakistan near the Afghan border.

“Probably the most important thing that we need to achieve strategically in the next three years is to work with our friends in Pakistan and make sure that these safe havens are eliminated.”

Jones also told King that eliminating the safe havens on the Pakistani side border would make it easier to secure the western parts of Afghanistan.

“If the safe havens [in Pakistan] stay, then the problem [in Afghanistan] is longer and more difficult.”

Asked whether the Pakistani military was committed to helping eliminate elements of the Afghani Taliban seeking refuge inside of Pakistan, Jones said the administration is coordinating closely with the Pakistani forces.

“We are working with the Pakistani authorities, the Pakistani military in an increasing atmosphere of trust and confidence,” Jones told King, “and the realization that these problems have to be tackled.

“This is a cancer in the region that affects not just Afghanistan. It affects Pakistan as well.”


Filed under: James Jones • Pakistan • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Just ask McCrypt, he stated he knew where he was and how to catch him/

    December 6, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Noble Collins

    At long last we are concentrating on what actually hit us on 911 !

    This is exactly what should have happened under the Cheney/Rumsfeld Administration, and, after eight years of twisted logic and ruinous actions, creating far more problems than fixes, we are finally realizing it. The tilt of world history is still to the far right, but perhaps that momentum has been slowed, if not stopped. If (a big if) our country holds together and the world doesn't go up in flames from some other disaster, then there may be a chance, still, to pull ourselves from the quagmire of Cheney/Rumsfeld.

    Let us pray.

    December 6, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    Correct on that. We have stalled long enough on that. I don't care that our government is scared that the man may be captured alive and have plenty to tell on the shady dealings of the Iran Contra affair. The truth needs to be told. Go back and get Oillie North on the witness stand. I'm sure he still has connections of contacting Bin Laden. The revenge of 911 needs to be carried out. Quit making excuses of attacking the Taliban and Iraq on other pretenses. We are out to destroy el quedo. If the storngest military in the world can not do this then something or someone is holding them back. From a 30 year Veteran of the U.S. Army.

    December 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. gord ontario

    republicans work very hard at keeping bin-ladin alive to me the only way you are going to talk to him is first lighting candles and holding hands

    December 6, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. WIlly Brown

    Go over there and drop The Bomb!

    December 6, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    he is correct and so is Diane from California . and we need to get behind the president and stop pointing fingers like george Will does and many others . that don't have a plan other than negative about the problems all over the world .. this same groupd supported George Bush Dick Cheney and Carl Rove .. and they were wrong .. but don't want to learn from what 8 years did to the world .. bad real bad . and now someone has the task of cleaning up the mess .. and John Mc Cain .will after some good progress happens in AFGHGAN ,he will change his mind and support it . so to McCain zip your loose lips they will sink ships !!! :)

    December 6, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. mathew

    re party purity......EXCELLENT, had forgotten that lil tidbit. he's kinda sidetracked at moment, getting folks to burn their AARP cards and all that. but heck ya, what ya got for us McChikn???

    December 6, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Given how much he criticized Bush for not catching bin Laden, why did it take Obozo almost a year to do anything? Oh that's right, he was too busy lobbying for the Olympics and campaigning for Democrats who all lost.

    December 6, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. john

    BHO has no more chance of capturing OBL than the man in the moon. You can't capture something that is dead, now can you!

    December 6, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. ObservantOne

    Go in, get Bin Laden, hit the Taliban leaders real hard and come home. You don't need 30K troops to do that. The CIA can take care of locating and bringing Bin Laden to trial.

    December 6, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. sportsguydave

    Given how much he criticized Bush for not catching bin Laden, why did it take Obozo almost a year to do anything? Oh that's right, he was too busy lobbying for the Olympics and campaigning for Democrats who all lost...mike from planet wingnut

    =====================================================

    You mean like the Democrat who won in NY23 after that district had been held by the GNOP for over 100 years?

    As your hero St. Ronnie said: Facts are stupid things.

    December 6, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    There are so many bin Ladens around the World and it would be stupid to use our whole military in search of one, continue using droons by the thousands. We know bin Laden is held up in Pakistan and the Pakistan government knows it, in fact how could the Pakistan Government develop something as complicated as a nuclear weapon and not be able to find bin Laden. Think about it.

    December 6, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. New Yorker

    Like that will stop terrorism. Don't waste the time and $$; you won't stop the radical faith by killing one of the top dogs.

    December 6, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. mark

    clinton had him in the cross hairs and did not have the guts to pull the trigger...

    December 6, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Randy

    Well we had our chance a few years ago but we blew it and let him get away.

    December 6, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. j

    I don't really care about Bin Laden any more.

    We've got too many problems at home. When is the WH and Congress going to focus on the economy and jobs? That should be their number 1 priority.

    December 6, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Beverly in NC

    Osama bin Laden is irrelevant at this point. He is probably already dead or passed leadership on to younger converts to his distortion of the Islamic faith.

    We need to take out all terrorist cells wherever we find them or by whoever is leading them. However, this is a worldwide issue not owned exclusively and the full responsibility of the United States.

    India has been attacked last year in Mumbai, London has been attacked, Spain has been attacked, Indonesian cities have been attacked – all by various terrorist groups. All nations need to take responsibility in this effort to take out terrorist cells, their leaders and in cutting off their access to resources to continue their efforts.

    We should also focus on ridding our nation of our own domestic terrorists who spew hate, try to incite violence, and spread fear – like FOX, tea baggers, birthers, the Klan, Skinheads, radical Pro-life groups who murder doctors, and religious zealots who want to wipe out anyone who does not believe what they do. These people are more dangerous to America than any foreign group for they are weakening our unity and our devotion to freedom, human rights, and protection of our rules of law and values of human decency.

    December 6, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. JonDie

    In 2001, Bush & Cheney sent our soldiers to hunt for bin Laden and to defeat the Taliban. Then suddenly they ended the hunt.

    And by the begining of 2002 and all the way until late 2008, Bush & Cheney abandoned our troops in Afghanistan with no military leadership, no mission and no strategy.

    And Jon Kyl and John McCain rubberstamped these Bush-Cheney mistakes that may have literally cost us any chance of defeating the Taliban no matter what Obama does.

    So I don't much care what these senile, old fools have to say about anything, especially anything about Afghanistan.

    December 6, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Cindy

    Yes! Let's get the man, the myth, everything ends with OBL!

    December 6, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. ICARE

    A trillion dollars just to spit a bullet at one man? IT's not worth it. Sorry, but this is the wrong war.

    December 6, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. ICARE

    To Noble Collins

    Yeah, we're 8 years too late. The weeds have spread and now just chopping off the stems are not enough.

    Plugging the roots are expensive.

    December 6, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    I was all for the invasion of Afghanistan, but when the U.S. government started seeing nation building as the main goal instead of the killing or apprehending Bin Laden and his lieutenants is when the war effort went awry in my opinion.

    The fact of the matter is we can kill all the people we want, spend all the money we want, and have all the photo ops we want, and it won't make any difference in the end. The Taliban (and afghan government corruption in general) is like weeds that have already gone to seed. As soon as we leave and stop tending the garden, the weeds will just spring back and the Taliban will be as strong as ever. Everyone who is killed in Afghanistan is dying in vain. We need to capture or kill Bin Laden, swiftly execute him, and the GET OUT! Unfortunately the Pakistani military could have Bin Laden TOMORROW if it really wanted him, but that is a whole different story.

    December 6, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. They call me "tater salad"

    "we're going to have to get after that"...........Gee!.....Ya think??????

    December 6, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Joe

    When a single drone can find its way in the unfriendly sky of Afghanistan and hit its target with less or more civilian casualties, I believe they can find Bin Laden, and that if he is alive. Political speaking, if they tell you I know something, usually I don't. If I tell you I don't know, usually I know. He probably right now vacationing in Dubai.

    December 6, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |