We’re hearing more and more about terrorism – the administration embraced the word over the weekend – in west and north Africa during the last week or so, and I find the situation in Mali disturbing. The military wing of our government sees a big area of concern, but the politicians don’t see it that way.
The new standard – as of this week – seems to be direct threat or threats to the U.S. homeland. If there is no direct threat… From the Los Angeles Times.
The widening war in Mali has opened divisions between the White House and the Pentagon over the danger posed by a mix of Islamist militant groups, some with murky ties to Al Qaeda, that are creating havoc in West Africa.
Although no one is suggesting that the groups pose an imminent threat to the United States, the French military intervention in Mali and a terrorist attack against an international gas complex in neighboring Algeria have prompted sharp Obama administration debate over whether the militants present enough of a risk to U.S. allies or interests to warrant a military response.
Although I understand the basics of the Mali/French relationship and history, I still do not know why it’s perfectly acceptable for the French to unilaterally put troops and equipment on the ground in Mali, while action by the United States in various parts of the world – which was never unilateral and was only done after months and months of careful thought – was the worst thing evah.
“No one here is questioning the threat that AQIM poses regionally,” said an [Obama] administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing internal deliberations. “The question we all need to ask is, what threat do they pose to the U.S. homeland? The answer so far has been none.”
Isolationism? If you don’t attack us, do what you want? They are a serious regional threat, but not a threat outside the region?
So far. The same could have been said in Afghanistan, after our intervention in that country drove the Soviet army into retreat and the Soviet Union into collapse in the late 1980s. The US and the world benefited from the collapse of that tyranny, but less than ten years later, the failed state of Afghanistan served as a base for the AQ core that launched deadly attacks on Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, two American embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, and of course 9/11.
Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air wrote the above, and I have to wonder at what point do these terrorists cross the line? It seems all but certain our previous doctrine of “fight them there so we don’t have to fight or deal with the aftermath here” is out the window.
As a chaser, read this from Sweetness & Light.