Saturday, December 12, 2009

US drone strike kills 'al-Qaeda commander'

This is good.  It shows that we have the capability to locate and eliminate Islamic terrorists in their hideouts.  Unfortunately, the Obama administration and other Western governments have placed such restrictive Rules Of Engagement (ROE's) that we are missing many opportunities to kill terrorists.

We have been engaged in a war of global proportions by an enemy that recognizes no borders or time limits.  Islamists will use any means at their disposal to attack Western civilization.  Terrorism is but one weapon.  Lawfare, demographics, politics, infiltration of government and educational institutions, and media propaganda are some of the other means of attack.

With all the technological abilities we possess, we need to establish a program based on the Phoenix Program used in Viet Nam to hunt down and eliminate Islamists wherever they may be found.  That means anywhere, anytime without regards to borders of treaties. Islamic terrorists know all too well that they have safe havens in many Islamic countries and that protection must be eliminated. 

The 57 members of the OIC need be isolated and contained much as the Soviet Union was, using economic, diplomatic as well as military action.  However, until Western nations recognize the threat and ally themselves in the effort to eliminate the Islamic Jihad, we will be on the defensive. By themselves, military surges will not eliminate the global organization of Islam.


US drone strike kills 'al-Qaeda commander'
Zahid Hussain in Islamabad

An American drone strike in northwest Pakistan is believed to have killed a top-ranking al-Qaeda commander, dealing a serious blow to the terrorist network.

Senior Pakistani officials said yesterday that the drone attack — carried out this week — killed the militant leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. He is considered a key ideologue and one of the most important people in the al-Qaeda hierarchy after Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Associated Press news agency, however, quoted an unnamed US official as saying that Saleh al-Somali, believed to be the chief al-Qaeda operations planner, was killed.

The strike was part of a stepped-up campaign by the US to target al-Qaeda and the Taleban in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
A Pakistani security official said that the drone carried out the attack near Mirnasha, in the North Waziristan tribal region, with the help of intelligence provided by Pakistan. Pakistani leaders have publicly criticised drone attacks but privately concede that they have been effective in eliminating key al-Qaeda operatives. In August a missile fired by a drone killed Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of the Pakistani Taleban.

The news comes as the US prepares to send 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan to try to turn the tide against the Taleban, which uses sanctuaries in Pakistan. North Waziristan neighbours South Waziristan, where Pakistan has been engaged since mid-October in its strongest offensive yet against home-grown Taleban militants.

US and British authorities have been pressing Pakistani authorities to do more to capture bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area. In an interview with CBS television to be aired over the weekend, President Obama said: “Ultimately, in order for us to eradicate the problem, to really go after al-Qaeda ... we are going to need more co-operation from Pakistan. There is no doubt about that,”
Mercenaries have been taking part in American raids on al-Qaeda militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to newspaper reports that will intensify pressure on Congress to curtail the use of private security guards in war zones (Giles Whittell and Tim Reid write).
The allegation that former Navy Seals and other US special forces soldiers employed by Blackwater Worldwide took part in CIA raids may also prompt fresh scrutiny of General Stanley McChrystal.

The senior Nato commander in Afghanistan was head of the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command between 2003 and 2008, when he directed covert attacks on al-Qaeda’s leadership in Iraq.
According to former Blackwater staff, sent to protect CIA officers in the field, they helped to kill militants targeted in “snatch and grab” raids. It was “highly unlikely” that General McChrystal did not know about the company’s involvement, Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer, told The Times yesterday.

Blackwater has become a byword for excessive force wielded beyond the control of US military hierarchies since the Iraqi Government accused five of its staff of killing 17 unarmed civilians in Nisoor Square, Baghdad, two years ago. Its lucrative contract with the State Department was cancelled after the claims.
Former company staff quoted yesterday said that guards assigned to protect CIA officers on raids were often armed with sawn-off M4 automatic weapons with silencers — a potent combination banned under US regulations.