To destroy the al-Qaeda "evil", the US needs to dismantle its core in the tribal regions of Pakistan and prevent its ability to re-establish a safe haven in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region, a senior US official has said.
"We aim to render the heart of al-Qaeda incapable of launching attacks against our homeland, our citizens, or our allies, as well as preventing the group from inspiring its affiliates and adherents to do so," John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security, said Wednesday.
"And we seek nothing less than the utter destruction of this evil that calls itself al-Qaeda," he said expanding on the White House counter terrorism strategy at the John Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
Acknowledging that US "relationship with Pakistan is not without tension or frustration, he said: "We are now working with our Pakistani partners to overcome differences and continue our efforts against our common enemies."
"It is essential that we do so. As frustrating as this relationship can sometimes be, Pakistan has been critical to many of our most significant successes against al-Qaeda," he said explaining why we must continue our cooperation with Pakistan.
Claiming that over the past two and half years more than half of al- qaeda's top leadership has been eliminated, Brennan said with the death of Osama bin Laden, the US had struck its biggest blow against the terrorist group.
Information seized from his hideout in Pakistan reveals Laden's concerns about al-Qaeda's long-term viability, he said noting the al-Qaeda called for more large-scale attacks against America, but encountered resistance from his followers.
"Perhaps most importantly, bin Laden clearly sensed that al-Qaeda is losing the larger battle for hearts and minds," Brennan said.
But "this fight is not over," he said and cited President Barack Obama to reiterate his administration's resolve: "We have put al-Qaeda on a path to defeat, and we will not relent until the job is done."