Global War on Terror: Phase II (Stymie the Enemy)
The USAF did this one. Hooray!
(CBS/AP) A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia, CBS News reported. The AC-130 gunship flew from Dijibouti to the southern tip of Somalia, where al Qaeda operatives fled upon being chased from the capital of Mogadishu by U.S. backed Ethiopian troops. The fleeing al Qaeda operatives were easy to track using unmanned aerial drones with the aircraft carrier Eisenhower moving out of the Persian Gulf toward Somalia. When the attack order was given, the mission was assigned to the AC-130 gunship operated by the U.S. Special Operations command.
Think they got al Qaeda? Congratulations, Air Force!
What is GWOT Phase II? Obviously, the public role of special forces in Somalia has matured from Phase I (relationship building with Somali warlords) to termination of this guy's (jihadi group leader Aden Hashi Ayro) friends. You may infer accurately that the purpose of Phase I in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Phillipines, Africa, etc., has been singular. We have followed Ayro since he was trained in Afghanistan. We watched him move to Somolia and organize 2,000 militants in early 2005.
Even esteemed journalist cite only failure, chaos and G.W. Bush missteps. Are they right? No, they are not only wrong, but incapable of keeping either the secret details or even the summary plan of what has been achieved. And what is that?
Coalition intelligence networks have been in "acquisition mode" since day one, making up for the prior administration's marginalization of effective intelligence gathering apparatus. The public became fed up in every coalition country, but leadership with secret goals in mind and achievements in hand has been strangely patient.
Detractors may say our intervention and tactics resulted in more terrorists today than before the war's start, but that is very myopic. The number of terrorists and potential terrorists is, in fact, larger today. The key difference is that before, our intelligence units had very few of their identities, contact information and home addresses in a shared data base. Now, we have much more, and the means to update, collate and use it to our advantage. The insurgents are serving a lost cause now, and are not aware of having been compromised. Our attacks had been limited and largely ineffectual.
Tha latest AC-130 gunship attack signals a coalition milestone against radical Islamist terrorism around the globe. Little further is to be gained by feigning coalition weakness. Terror cells have been exposed or infiltrated, individual targets have been surveilled for many months and we control the playing board. Too bad the Clinton administration made us start almost from scratch, but we did it.
How will the public ever know? Well, Phase I was mostly just controlled attrition (notice how beheadings suddenly stopped?), because you can't learn much more about terror organizations once you start taking them out of commission. Phase II will demonstrate superbly executed USMC aggression. Even the press corp should be able to notice the difference.
h/t Juan Caruso al-Humacao