Monday, September 14, 2009

A change in tactics and a tactical victory against Al Qaeda

The New York Times reports that one of the top Al Qaeda leaders in Africa, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, was killed on Monday. What's especially remarkable about the operation, though, was that Nabhan was killed directly by U.S. special forces.
American commandos killed one of the most wanted Islamic militants in Africa in a daylight raid in southern Somalia on Monday, according to American and Somali officials, an indication of the Obama administration’s willingness to use combat troops strategically against Al Qaeda’s growing influence in the region.
According to the article, the use of U.S. forces may have been a necessity. There may not have been time to organize an air strike or a missile launch.

However, it may reflect a shift in strategy, with the U.S. being willing to risk soldiers' lives to minimize civilian casualties.

Either way, U.S. forces succeeded in ridding the world of a key terrorist, one responsible for bombing an Israeli hotel and possibly collaborating on the bombings of American embassies in the late 1990s.