Retired Vice Admiral Scott Redd, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told NBC News this weekend that the U.S. is not “tactically” safer as a result of the Iraq war. That message defied the official line from White House counterterrorism adviser Fran Townsend, who said the “threat level would have been worse” had we not attacked Iraq.
Redd also acknowledged that, over the short term, the Iraq war has created a “giant recruiting tool” for terrorists. Watch it:
Today, Redd announced his sudden resignation from the NTC. The AP reports:
Retired Vice Adm. John Scott Redd said he is stepping down next month to have a long-delayed surgery and spend more time with his five grandchildren and the rest of his family. His spokesman, Carl Kropf, said Redd needs to have both knees replaced. The surgery will require follow-up rehabilitation and would have meant a prolonged absence from the center.
In a note to employees, Redd “provided an upbeat assessment of the administration’s fight against terrorism,” which appeared to contradict his statements made to NBC just a few days earlier. “I believe that as a country we are better prepared today than at any time in our history to wage this war,” he said in his note, neglecting to mention his view that America is actually less safe today because of the Iraq war.