Washington, July 12 : American defense commanders and some officials have accused the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department of being too timid in their quest to eliminate the on-the-run al Qaeda leadership.
Military special operations forces (SOF) commandos said that they have expressed their frustration over the lack of aggressiveness on the part of several policy and intelligence leaders in pursuing Osama bin Laden and his top henchmen for the past six-and-a-half years.
According to the Washington Times, the commandos have been wanting to set up bases inside Pakistan's tribal region, where al Qaeda has regrouped in recent months, a demand that has been stalled by the corridors of power in Washington.
The officials, however, say that has not always been the case. As an example, they cite the time U.S. special operations forces went into the area in 2002 and 2003, when secret Army Delta Force and Navy SEALs worked with Pakistani security forces.
That effort was halted under Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage.
Another major setback for aggressive special operations activities occurred recently with a decision to downgrade the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Critics say that the 50,000-strong SOF force should be used more aggressively.
Officials said the bias among intelligence officials against aggressive military special operations is long-standing.