They’re back! Yup, al Qaeda is back setting up training camps in the Korengal Valley Afghanistan, the Valley of Death. Osama bin Laden’s (is he not dead?) network is again in business. Terrorists are returning to the valley from incubation centers in Kuwait, Pakistan, and most certainly Saudi Arabia, the undisputed HQ of radical anti-American , Muslim terrorism. Hideouts and training bases are popping up in the remote mountain region along Afghanistan’s northeastern border with Pakistan.
Just 18 months ago, U.S. forces had to bribe the Taliban to allow safe passage out of the Valley of Death. And now we have, with the blessing of the Taliban, Act II. These training bases will be used to attack the West. The Taliban have only local mayhem in mind, but with AQ, it is a horse of quite a different color. AQ are specialists in the rope-a-dope strategy originated in a boxing ring many decades ago by the great Muhammad Ali. The goal then, as it is today, is to let the enemy punch himself out while you hang back on the ropes. Then wham-o, you strike back.
In December 2001, a small band of CIA/Delta Force operators had bin Laden pinned down in the high mountains. But back at Central Command, it was decided not to follow through on CIA’s request for backup Rangers to finish the job. Local Afghan warlords were counted on, wrongly, to help finish off bin Laden. Pakistan was counted on, wrongly, to seal the border preventing an escape route for bin Laden. CIA, supported by a top-flight linguist expert, told Central Command in America that CIA-led forces had bin Laden boxed in. No go was the answer. I have gone over the history of this adventure and then as now wonder why CIA/Delta weren’t allowed to call the shots needed to get the job done. Although I believe Central Command had good reason for concluding as they did, Central Command, in the end, proved wrong. Bin Laden supposedly escaped into Pakistan, where he is presumed by many to be to this day. Perhaps so and perhaps not!
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvUdruvbdmI&feature=player_embedded So now al Qaeda is back in the ring for a second round. While I would end America’s involvement with NATO in the futile attempt to bring democracy and law and order the Afghanistan, I would not allow AQ to regroup. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), supported by firepower from Reaper drones, can take out the underpinnings of al Qaeda’s latest camp-building initiative. Surgical missions carried out under the direction of on-the-ground command can get the job done. If the job is left to either a NATO force or a command group back in the U.S., the mission will shortly turn into the goat rope that the kill bin Laden mission turned into. It’s just that simple.