AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Steve Stiglbauer

    We are on a Fool’s Errand in more ways than just this in our ‘War on Terror.’ Defending against acts of terror in a free society is extraordinarily difficult. Not antagonizing these people in the first place is a much better strategy. And we antagonize them by our mere presence in so many regions we have no business being in the first place. Our military bases and presence in dozens of countries around the world is totally unnecesary and is counter productive. Instead of making us safer it makes us less safe.

  2. You’ve laid out the problems fairly well; so now, what is the solution?

    If even our ground efforts are failing, what’s left for us to do?

    The United States used to be a citadel attracting people from all over the world to emigrate here for freedom and financial opportunities.

    But neither of those ideals seem attractive to the new”al shabaab” (ie “the youth”) of the Middle East and Africa. Instead, they seem discontent and act like rabid dogs, panting after the jugular vein of Israel and America.

    Why are they hellbent on the West’s destruction?

    The book of Revelation comes to mind: Rev. 3:17 “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will prevail.” (paraphrased)

  3. I agree with Katherine that targeting the leadership alone will not defeat Al Qaeda (AQ). However, that is not to say that it is never useful or even that these raids were not well conceived. When you look at the targets, one was a planner of the mall attack in Kenya that officials are afraid could be replicated in the west by Somali immigrants there, the other was a senior AQ official that reports directly to Al Zawahiri and has recently been reported to be the chief agent implementing his plans there. These were not poorly conceived targets at all.
    What the U.S. intelligence community needs to foster is the ability to determine when to use such operations and when to use more of a counter-insurgency strategy. Neither are always the answer and both have their weaknesses and advantages.

  4. Benjamin Cole

    We have spent or incurred liabilities of $6 trillion in Iraqistan, and Al Qaeda is stronger than ever? Not to mention $1 trillion a year in Defense, Homeland Security and VA outlays…how is this possible?

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