According to a reportby The Daily Beast, one of the top Libyan jihadist leaders and a long-time Al Qaeda associate, Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush, has taken control of a sensitive US base in Libya.
The secret training facility was set up by the US Special Forces in order to hunt down jihadists in Libya. However, things seem to be different now.
Last week, the leader of Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen vowed to attack the US in a video which apparently showed a gathering of almost a hundred members of the organization. Although the US administration carried out a drone strike in an attempt to eliminate the leadership, the incident raised significant questions over the American approach to counter Al Qaeda.
President Obama has repeatedly stated that Al Qaeda is on ‘a path to defeat’. Is it really?
With the strengthening of Al Qaeda in countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, it will eventually not matter much if the organization is wiped out from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In his statement before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Frederick W. Kagan was right in saying, “Al Qaeda is like a virulent pathogen that opportunistically attacks bodies weakened by internal strife and poor governance, but that further weakens those bodies and infects others that would not otherwise have been susceptible to the disease.”
What it means is that the US needs to rethink its approach in the war against terror. Hard military measures are essential but they should be complemented by adequate steps to improve the socio-political state of the impoverished countries.
President Obama, in his remarks at a 2012 presidential campaign event stated, “Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.”
It seems “decimated” would not be the right word to describe Al Qaeda’s condition now.