Al Qaeda's latest offensive

Belmont Club:


"The latest offensive shows the relative balance between offense and defense in the Global War on Terror. Like the kamikaze attacks of an earlier era, these Islamic bombers were probably tracked by intelligence until they could be engaged by the defenses, in much the same way the CAP and anti-aircraft shot down bogeys over Okinawa. In the case of Britain and the Philippines, the inbounds were splashed before they could deliver their ordnance. But in Uzbekistan the bogeys leaked through and killed 19 people.

"It also suggests that Al Qaeda has lost its organic capability to strike and must now rely on affiliates. The quality of the new affiliated Holy Warriors is markedly lower than the cadre led by Mohammed Atta. Here too, the analogy with the kamikazes may be apt. By 1945, the superlative aces of the Kido Butai had all been killed or crippled. Forced by logistical strangulation to cut back on training, the bogeys over Okinawa were largely piloted by novices who could only fly straight and level.

"The Islamist losses in both Britain and the Philippines are likely to be felt keenly by the Jihadis. The British appear to have rolled up a widely deployed network of sleepers; prized assets. The Philippines for its part took down a cell which contained core members of the Abu Sayaf, including the sadistic man who killed Guillermo Sobero, a simple tourist visiting the Islands, as he pleaded for his life. The plan to terrify America's allies into leaving Iraq appears to have failed for now despite the best efforts of the Jihadis. And for this paltry result they have paid in their dwindling seed corn. They must be now asking themselves how the British and Filipinos knew enough to foil their plans. Sleep well Osama."

As the war on terro becomes a war of attrition, the islamist attrition is beginning to show. Its impotence is exposed more and more. Killing civilians will not win a war unless you have the ability to do it on a much grander scale, and a much higher tempo. Oterwise it only shows the rightness of fighting the terrorist.


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