The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
The Global War on Terror Is Over?

It’s a good thing the Obama administration isn’t involved in the global war on terror anymore. Otherwise, we would have American special forces waging all kinds of clandestine operations and wars in places like Mali.

Oh wait…

Three American commandos were killed in an April 20 incident when their car skidded off the road and into the Niger River in Bamoko, the capital of Mali:

The military’s Africa Command, which oversees operations on the continent, said the three service members killed were among “a small number of personnel” who had been aiding the Malian military before the coup and had remained in the country to “provide assistance to the U.S. Embassy” and “maintain situational awareness on the unfolding events.”

Various branches of the American military, including the secretive Intelligence and Security Command and the Special Operations Command (which has seen its budget and manpower increase significantly in recent years), have been coy about what exactly the three men were doing in Mali, and why they were with three Moroccan prostitutes when they died. (A spokesman for the US embassy in Mali said they were on “personal, not business-related travel.”) Regardless of the circumstances of the commandos’ tragic death, the incident opens a window on the secret operations of the U.S. military, where small teams operate in semi-lawless places, tracking, observing, and sometimes killing al-Qaeda linked terrorists. The global war on terror is over? Not really.
Published on July 9, 2012 9:28 am
  • vanderleun

    “… have been coy about what exactly the three men were doing in Mali, and why they were with three Moroccan prostitutes when they died. ”

    Ah, Watson, it is simplicity itself. They were training to become part of the Secret Service.

  • http://facingzionwards.blogspot.com/ Luke Lea

    Let us begin the war on error.

    Meanwhile, in China, wow!

  • thibaud

    Ah, so the current “leftist”, “socialist” president is in reality a ruthless prosecutor of the WOT who’s implementing a Republican healthcare reform plan and whose Education Secretary has done more to reform US education than any of his predecessors. But no, Obama is a left-wing alien sent to destroy life on planet earth.

  • Eurydice

    @thibaud #3 – You keep pressing this talking point that Romneycare was a Republican health care platform, but those of us who live in Massachusetts haven’t forgotten recent history.

    The first thing to be noted is that Massachusetts has had a Democratically controled legislature for over 50 years – apart from the occasional Republican governor, there’s really not much of a Republican party to speak of. With regard to health care reform, there were many competing plans put forward, one of them Romney’s, and his was not the first. The final bill that was passed had many differences from Romney’s plan, several of which he vetoed and the vetoes were overridden by the legislature. People can say the plan is good, bad or indifferent, but they really can’t say it was the sole brainchild of Mitt Romney.

  • Eurydice

    My sympathies go out to the commandos’ families.

  • thibaud

    Eurydice: Why is that Romney and the GOP establishment repeatedly supported a national individual mandate in the run-up to passage of the ACA?

    Agreed that any legislative sausage factory in any place, be it Boston or DC or Austin or elsewhere, will produce a heterogeneous product with multiple elements. This is not less true for ObamaCare than for RomneyCare.

    But the main point here is that the Republicans, with very prominent and vocal participation by Gov. Romney, pushed for a national individual mandate as a way of avoiding a real and fundamental solution to our mess in the form of a public option.

    This is why all of Romney’s opponents within the GOP have pointed out his hypocrisy and lack of credibility on this issue. If you have a problem with that, talk to Eric Erickson or the reason.com boys or any of Romney’s rivals.

    It will soon become obvious to the swing voters who will decide this election that Romney is an unreliable corporate weasel. Devil you know will beat devil-you-can’t-trust-on-anything.

  • dearieme

    That’s probably the right scale for most of the WOT, rather than fighting doomed wars of occupation such as those in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Lord knows what’s coming for Iran.

  • Eurydice

    @thibaud #6 – I have no idea why Romney and the GOP do anything, so I can’t answer your question. All I’m saying is that if Romneycare was a “heterogeneous product with mutiple elements” most of those elements came from the Democrats.

  • Bill Jones

    Anyone have any way to differentiate the “Commandos” from terrorists?