Friday, April 6, 2007
Lending A Hand
Remember the al-Qaeda training facilities in southeast Afghanistan? The ones where aspiring jihadists from across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe used to come to develop combat skills back before we drove them out of the country?
Well, according to this short piece in The National Interest, al-Qaeda's replaced them with live fire training in Iraq. And the technical expertise their operatives have gathered, like sophisticated IED technology and anti-aircraft tactics, is now showing up on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.
Keep in mind, Bin Laden cut his teeth in the Afghan insurgency. For him, terrorism is only the preliminary tactic of a three-stage longterm strategy:
- Draw the US into a regional war through the use of terror attacks;
- Inflict enough losses to drive the US out of the Middle East definitively;
- Topple the newly-vulnerable moderate Arab states through local insurgencies.
So as far as he's concerned, live fire insurgency training will definitely come in handy some day. Of course, the only way his plan can ultimately succeed is if we help him out every step of the way. But so far, that's exactly what we've been doing.