The enemy unsafe houses

James Robbins:

If you are hunting terrorists it is useful to go where the terrorists are. On Sunday U.S. Special Forces raided Sukkariyeh Farm near the town of Abu Kamal five miles inside the Syrian border with Iraq. Meanwhile on Monday missiles struck the Pakistani village of Manduta in South Waziristan and took out at least two senior Taliban commanders. This was the 19th Predator strike in Pakistan since the beginning of August. Seems like the war on terrorism is back on.

The raid in Syria was particularly noteworthy. If reports are correct, it was a pinpoint raid to capture Abu Ghadian, al-Qaeda’s man in Syria, who was the group’s chief coordinator funneling arms and insurgents into Iraq. If he was in fact captured alive he may provide a profusion of useful intelligence. The computers, cell phones and other items scoped up in the raid surely will.

This operation is similar to the raid Colombia conducted in March against guerilla headquarters in Ecuador. The raid was very successful; FARC number-two man Raul Reyes was killed, and evidence was seized demonstrating the FARC’s ties to Venezuela and revealing numerous details about the personnel and inner workings of the guerilla group. Several operations quickly followed the incursion, since intelligence of this nature must be exploited while it is still hot.

In the case of the raid in Syria, secondary targets may already be in the process of being struck, in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. It is possible that Monday’s missile attack in western Pakistan was the result of actionable intelligence collected in eastern Syria. Surely any bad guy who suspects there was anything at Sukkariyeh Farm that pertains to him has already at least attempted to go to ground.

The Syrian government condemned the strike as “serious aggression” and a “war crime.” Hezbollah decried the “blatant violation of the sovereignty of an Arab state,” sensibly not addressing the legitimacy of their predilection for aggression against non-Arab states. Iran, sensing that it could be a candidate for a similar raid, expressed grave concern. The charge that this was an act of aggression might hold up in the abstract, but raids of this type can be justified a number of ways, either as “hot pursuit” or as an act of “anticipatory self-defense” if the pursuit is not quite hot enough. A better justification is found in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), which mandated that, inter alia, “all States shall…deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens; and prevent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories for those purposes against other States or their citizens.” The resolution pledged that the member state would “take all necessary steps in order to ensure the full implementation of this resolution.” In 2007 President Bush declared his intent to take cross-border defensive action against the insurgent networks, stating that the United States would “interrupt the flow of support [for insurgents in Iraq] from Iran and Syria” and “seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

Syria was a terrorist sanctuary long before the war began. Fighters from Syria faced our troops southeast of Baghdad during the major combat phase, and Hezbollah snipers infiltrated Iraq soon after. Syria has claimed to have made efforts to limit the movement of foreign fighters into the country, and their numbers have declined recently, reportedly down to 20 per month last summer from over 100 per month a year earlier. However, this reduction in traffic has less to do with Syria’s supposed strong enforcement measures than with the success of Coalition strategy in Iraq and al-Qaeda’s decision to cut bait and shift its attention back to Afghanistan.

This is a significant loss for al Qaeda's Iraq operation besides being a blow to Syria's pretensions of seriousness in opposing terrorist. As Robbins points out, the raid should have come much sooner. I suspect the reason it did not is the political problems the Bush administration would have had with the anti war puke left. Bush is demonstrating the upside to being a lame duck.

I suspect that Obama is too afraid of showing his wimp side to issue much of a protest against the attack and his MoveOn supporters also look at opposition as being a loser at this point. These guys don't want to remind people how wrong they were about Iraq for the last two years.


Popular posts from this blog

Police body cam video shows a difference story of what happened to George Floyd

The plot against the President

While blocking pipeline for US , Biden backs one for Taliban