Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shooting Wars

Afghanistan where the President has decided to end our combat role next year something that I think if we get an adult President in office they will change for good or ill.  Allowing the Taliban to go to the negotiating table under no duress is a mistake.  Even in Vietnam it was bombing that forced the North to the table.  Not having any bases to launch drone strikes in the the tribal areas of Pakistan is going to hurt US counter-terrorism efforts.  This will be a main negotiating point for the Taliban, one has to remember the birthplace of AQ and its related groups is the tribal area.  Leaving them unmolested is going to cause difficulties for Pakistan, Afghanistan, the region as a whole, and the West in general.

Yemen AQAP al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in addition to fighting the Yemeni government the Shia rebels and plotting to hit western targets has been under pressure from both manned and un-manned US air strikes.  At times the Yemeni government takes credit for the attacks especially the manned ones to give the US cover.  Since May 2011 the US is know to have launched 11 air strikes in Yemen.  Also Yemen was hit right after 9/11 when a known AQ leaders was spotted by a drone. The two most famous at least to Americans are the two US citizen killed Samir Khan the person behind AQAP Inspire magazine was killed along with Anwar Alwalki.  The Long War Journal as always has excellent coverage of the drone strikes in Yemen.  As in Pakistan the leadership of AQAP has been hit hard but always seems to recover, however there is something to be said for them to always have to have their heads on a swivel. 

Somalia has been the on again off again target for everything from SEAL teams, AC130 gunships, Predator drones, and Navy Fighter bombers since 9/11.  In 2009 a daylight raid carried out by helicopter gunships and a SOCOM ground team (allegedly SEALs) finished the destruction of the convoy and removed the bodies.  Their target was Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan who was involved in the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania as well as a 2002 attack in Mombasa, Kenya against a hotel and an airliner.  Last week a SEAL team rescued two hostages held by Somali pirates

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