Obama Must Respond to the Growing al Qaeda Threat
An outstanding piece in today’s Wall Street Journal on how al Qaeda continues to thrive and how the United States (to wit; Obama) should respond. Despite President Obama’s fallacious pronouncements of al Qaeda’s decimation, the group and its affiliates continue to prosper and pose an increasing threat.(block quote credit “The al Qaeda Franchise Threat”- Reports of the terrorist group’s imminent defeat are greatly exaggerated. Wall Street Journal “Opinion” 5/1/13)
Even as the U.S. has “decimated” (the President’s word) al Qaeda’s senior leadership—killing or capturing 13 of the top 20 most wanted terrorists—it pops up in new locales and forms. It has nimbly exploited opportunities and is more active and in more places… than on September 11, 2001.
Everywhere it is active, al Qaeda seeks a sanctuary to plot the overthrow of pro-Western Muslim governments and attacks on the U.S.
The current resurgence has also been assisted by the Arab Spring. But instead of political freedom and prosperity, the fruits of the Arab Spring have so far been weak states (Libya, Tunisia, Yemen), prolonged political turmoil (Egypt), civil war (Syria) and empowered Islamists (all of the above).
Each of the affiliates is different, though all usually have leaders who served or trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The franchises work more closely together than the U.S. likes to admit.
These al Qaeda gains are reversible, and not every case will require Western military intervention. Close security relationships, good intelligence and America’s peerless special forces are strong weapons.
The U.S. can also do more to help weak governments in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere get a grip on their states. But all of this requires continuing vigilance and a willingness to keep on offense overseas, rather than make premature declarations of victory.
President Obama has preferred disengagement from the Middle East and South Asia to focus on “nation-building at home.” One result is Middle East instability and the al Qaeda resurgence. To address these emerging problems, the Administration first needs to acknowledge them. The tide of war, to correct President Obama’s other favorite line, isn’t receding. It’s rising.
One could perhaps forgive Mr. Obama’s “stumble” on the issue of al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad generally if folks have not died due to his blissful (willfull?) ignorance of Islamic Jihad (see Benghazi and the Boston Marathon…). Nope, your humble blogger grants Obama no slack when it comes to the death of Americans.
Prior OBS posts on this issue:
To see my other counter-jihad writings, click “jihad” under Categories to your right.