It isn’t rocket science and the enemy are certainly not geniuses. What they have is location, location, location and a local logistical support. That is why they have trouble here causing problems and have no problem there doing the same.
What kind of intelligence did the US develop that caused the Obama administration to take the drastic and unprecedented step of closing almost two dozen embassies for more than a week? The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report from their sources that the intel community intercepted a global al-Qaeda conference call run by Ayman al-Zawahiri, one which demonstrated his control over the umbrella organization and the enthusiasm of its affiliate participants, including relatively new additions from Africa and the Sinai Peninsula. One source called the aggregate the “Legion of Doom”:
Several news outlets reported Monday on an intercepted communication last week between Zawahiri and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda’s affiliate based in Yemen. But The Daily Beast has learned that the discussion between the two al Qaeda leaders happened in a conference call that included the leaders or representatives of the top leadership of al Qaeda and its affiliates calling in from different locations, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. All told, said one U.S. intelligence official, more than 20 al Qaeda operatives were on the call.
To be sure, the CIA had been tracking the threat posed by Wuhayshi for months. An earlier communication between Zawahiri and Wuhayshi delivered through a courier was picked up last month, according to three U.S. intelligence officials. But the conference call provided a new sense of urgency for the U.S. government, the sources said.
I won’t go into the dumbness of Obama’s people releasing sources to support the need for domestic NSA spying- the idiocy speaks for itself in volumes.
But I do want to speak to the issue of AQ being worldwide and a huge organization. It may be worldwide but it is not an “organization” in the classic sense. It is simply a series of locally run franchises that offer the same menu, with local options. Think McDonalds or Burger King. All McDonalds offer the Big Mac, per corporate dictate. But they can also offer more regional fare if the local owner wants it. The end goal is to create terror and drive the westerners out of the areas the jihadists feel they should control- which could be problematic for us since some jihadists think they should control the world. But the end goal for the more reasonable monsters is the Caliphate. Take the time to look it up. Suffice it to say, every person under the influence of this type of religious/political system will suffer. Or more accurately, every free thinking, diverse person will.
That’s today’s AQ. So how to fight it? Well it exists everywhere, even here- ask the victims at Fort Hood. It takes on many different faces and often is melded in with jihadists operating individually like the DC snipers. Did they get marching orders to cause mayhem directly from corporate. No, they did not have to. All they knew is corporate wanted them to serve up some Macs and fries, and the snipers did.
To fight something like that the tool is not a sledgehammer. GWB did that for Afghanistan and later in Iraq. That works if you can get enough moles in one place to play ultra “whack-a-mole.” But if there are only ten moles, then sending in a division to get the ten is a waste. At the same time, Hellfires are limited and our President seems reluctant to put SF boots in foreign nations- and maybe rightly so.
So what to do? Well, you can continue to take shots when the shots present themselves. You can work with governments of the nations to provide the material and intelligence to enable them to kill off their terrorist problem- like the Philippines for example. Or we could provide support via naval and air. If the locals can locate and pin down the enemy who says we can’t send in a few F18’s to make their job easier!
This war is a geopolitical war with no boundaries. It just is. GWB got it and tried to keep it pinned within the Arab- Asian part of the world. Obama has no stomach to explain this to the country, which means he’ll cut and run, and as any good army will do the AQ will charge in after him, cutting the retreating army to pieces.
That “army” of course is us.