Hot newsflashing bout Great Satan's JSOC's double headed Africa stomp shows Great Satan still got claws!
The paradox, and saving grace, of 44's presidency is that while the president is indecisive about big things — the Afghan surge, intervention in Syria, entitlement reform even the fast disappearing “Pacific pivot” — he is very decisive about ordering drone strikes and raids by Special Operations Forces (or SOF) on terrorist targetsPic - "A Killing Machine Of Unprecedented Agility And Ferocity"
Indeed, 44 may well be the most SOF-friendly president we’ve ever had
This weekend, acting on the president’s orders, Special Operations teams came ashore in both Somalia and Libya. In Libya, the operators captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, alias Abu Anas al-Liby, who is wanted for the bombing of two US embassies in Africa in 1998.
In Somalia, SEALs targeted a senior leader of the Shabab, the Islamist terrorist group responsible for the massacre at the Westgate mall in Nairobi. It is unclear if they killed their target because the team had to withdraw under fire, but even if the raid was not entirely successful, it sent a welcome message to terrorist plotters that they cannot hide from the long arm of the US Special Operations Command.
That is a much-needed message to send, and it helps in a small way to begin undoing some of the damage from 44’s vacillation over Syria, which signaled American confusion and retreat.
But, while important and welcome, Special Operations raids and drone strikes will not by themselves win the War on Terror.
That is why, even as these surgical strikes have proliferated in recent years, al Qaeda and its affiliates have spread their reach further than ever.
To counter the spread of violent extremism requires not simply one-off missions designed to eliminate senior leaders; what is required is steady, long-term engagement to build up indigenous institutions capable of keeping order on their own.
So by all means send out the special operators to collar or kill the bad guys. That is risky but necessary. But also remember that this is only one “line of operation” in a larger strategy that we desperately need to counter the continuing growth of You Know What extremism.