Thursday, December 31, 2009

Obama's Terror Strategy and Ant Poison

It's either a war or not. Obama seems to be denying the obvious--his 'isolated wacko' comment about the KnickerBomber is one clear signal of his misunderstanding. It's not the only one; the hapless hack politician Napolitano attempted to re-define terrorist acts as "man-caused disasters," which places her weltanshcauung right around the Sesame Street/Mr. Rogers level.

It's not that Obama is doing nothing at all. It's that he's not using ant poison.

...the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them — with enhanced techniques if necessary —is not worth the trouble.

It's that he's not playing all our cards:

...The problem with this approach is that dead terrorists cannot tell their plans. According to ABC News, Abdulmutallab has told investigators there are "more just like him in Yemen who would strike soon." Who are these terrorists? Where have they been deployed? We may not find out until it is too late because we launched a strike intended to kill the al-Qaeda leaders who could give us vital intelligence.

On Christmas Eve, U.S. and Yemeni forces struck a compound where senior al-Qaeda leaders were meeting. Among those believed killed, The Washington Post reported, were "Nasser al-Wuhayshi, al-Qaeda's regional leader, and his deputy, Said Ali al-Shihri." A U.S. official told the Post that they were "the two biggest fish in the most violent offshoot of al-Qaeda that exists in the world." Subsequent reports have indicated al-Wuhayshi might have survived. The fates of the two men remain unclear.

In an earlier time, when we tracked down such big fish, we would take them in alive, hand them over to the CIA and find out their plans to kill Americans. No longer. If we had tried to capture, instead of kill, these two terrorist leaders, they could have told us whether more like Abdulmutallab were on the way. Now, they might have taken these secrets to the grave. And we are left to hope that the passengers on the next flight are as brave as those who subdued Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.

Utilizing the intel procedures described above is not exactly new. You can compare it to removing ants from your kitchen. Many ant-traps now allow an ant to escape back to its home, but that ant is loaded with poison which will destroy the rest of the ants in their nest.

Or you can keep swatting ants, one at a time. When you see them. IF you see them.

Good luck with that.

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