Friday, June 22, 2007

Where We Fight

by Cliff May from National Review Online

America is at war with al Qaeda [Al-Qaeda's Saudi Origins by Uriya Shavit from Middle East Quarterly] — on that surely we can agree — and we know that al Qaeda has bases in Pakistan. In fact, it is probable that Osama bin Laden resides at one of those bases. But we can’t fight al Qaeda in Pakistan [Al Qaeda Strikes Back by Bruce Riedel from Foreign Affairs] because Pakistan is an ally, and America does not violate the territorial integrity of its allies. Al Qaeda is active in Gaza ... but we’re not about to invade Gaza in pursuit of al Qaeda. Even Israel, which withdrew from Gaza two years ago, is not eager to return there. In Lebanon, Fatah al-Islam, which is fighting the Lebanese government, is believed to be linked to al Qaeda. There is no way the U.S. is going to send troops into Lebanon again. Groups linked to al Qaeda are in Somalia. But a serious effort by Americans against al Qaeda in Somalia seems unlikely ... Almost a decade ago, Osama bin Laden said that Americans were “unprepared to fight long wars.” Secure in his Pakistani redoubt, he must be pleased that his analysis is proving so uncannily accurate.

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