Is This Our ‘Forever War’?
I disagree with the Bengazi citation about AQ below, but I agree in general-The fight with AQ is not over. And just from taking a look at the Israel/Palestinian wars I fear there truly is no end in sight. The consequences for our culture are profound. Have you read the Forever War by Haldeman? It’s a big bold cautionary tale that among other things-Illustrates the peril a very long war carries for the culture and the individual. Upon reading the above linked piece and the headlines from Israel, Afghanistan, & Syria I got exactly the same creepy feeling.
There once was a time, just last year, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thought the U.S. was this close to wiping al-Qaida off the face of the earth, once and for all. That appears to have gone up in the flames of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Now, a more dour Panetta believes that it’s not enough to continue the drone strikes and commando raids in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; they’ve got to expand “outside declared combat zones” to places like Nigeria, Mali and even Libya.
That was Panetta’s message at Tuesday evening address to the Center for American Security, an influential Washington defense think tank. Panetta, a former director of the CIA, gave a strong defense of counterterrorism drone strikes and commando raids, calling them “the most precise campaign in the history of warfare,” and indicated strongly that they’re only going to intensify in the coming years.
So Panetta is back to describing a sprawling global campaign “in areas beyond the reach of effective security and governance.” The likely next targets are the Boko Haram Islamic militants in Nigeria; the extremists who appear in control of much of northern Mali; and, he said, “we are concerned about Libya,” as the September Benghazi attack crystallized that the country the U.S. thought it liberated from Muammar Gadhafi last year may now be a tinderbox for “violent extremists and affiliates of al-Qaida,” to whom Panetta attributed the Benghazi attacks.