That war we don’t like to mention because we feel saying the name of the enemy only makes him stronger continues to bubble along, with good and bad news coming in. Across Africa, American forces leapt to action yesterday, carrying out lightning raids in Libya and Somalia against Al Qaeda and al Shabaab. FBI and CIA agents seized Abu Anas al-Liby, a senior Al Qaelda leader on the streets of Tripoli, while Navy Seals attacked the seaside villa of a militant leader at dawn, withdrawing without having confirmed killing its target. The New York Times:
Officials said the timing of the two raids was coincidental. But occurring on the same day, they underscored the rise of northern Africa as a haven for international terrorists. Libya has collapsed into the control of a patchwork of militias since the ouster of the Qaddafi government in 2011. Somalia, the birthplace of the Shabab, has lacked an effective central government for more than two decades.
The good news: the Libya raid was successful. The bad: the Libya and Somalia raids confirm that the cancer has metastasized. The war Obama hoped to win in the Af-Pak hills has now entrenched itself across a vast expanse of territory with new groups and new alliances springing up faster than we can root out the old ones. We are going to be playing whack-a-mole for a very long time.