April 11, 2009

Obama's Team vs Al-Qaeda Linked Al-Shabaab

Drudge links to this disturbing article regarding the arguments among Obama's team in regards to al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab. Some want to strike al-Shabaab's training camps while others want a non military, more patient approach. The reasoning for the later?

Senior Obama administration officials are debating how to address a potential terrorist threat to U.S. interests from a Somali extremist group, with some in the military advocating strikes against its training camps. But many officials maintain that uncertainty about the intentions of the al-Shabab organization
Sure, alQaeda linked al-Shabaab want nothing more than peace and harmony. Kinda like the peaceful terrorists that flew planes into the World Trade Center.

Obama can't vote present on this one and it is showing.

The newness of the Obama administration, one senior military official, has slowed the decision process even more.

They are "walking slowly," the official said, "and for the players with continuity, the frustration continues to grow."

To sum it up it's the evil Boooosh, Cheney, Rove's fault, they angered the peaceful terrorists:
But many on the national security team insist that it is their caution and willingness to consider all aspects of the situation that differentiate them from the overly aggressive posture of the Bush administration that they say exacerbated the terrorist threat.
Sheesh, all this time I have been thanking evil Boooosh administration for keeping us safe.

UPDATE by Rusty: I was actually working on a post on this at the same time SH was, so let me just add a couple of thoughts.

What is most troubling is that it seems that the Obama administration isn't clear as to Shabaab's intentions. Not knowing the best response to terrorist groups is one thing, but not understanding intentions is quite another.

The intentions of Shabaab are crystal clear: the establishment of Taliban like sharia in Somalia, and the spread of that type of government abroad.

Of course Shabaab has its eyes outside of Somalia. Just ask the people in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Some analysts confuse the motivations of those fighting for Shabaab with organizational goals. I'm afraid this confusion has now reached the White House.

The confusion stems from the fact that many fighting for the Shabaab against the Ethiopian occupation force were motivated to some extent out of nationalism.

But so what? The motivation of street-level fighters tells us little as to the goals of the organization they fight for.

The goal of many terrorists may be even less sophisticated than nationalism. I'm sure that some fight for the promise of three squares a day.

This may inform us as to how to respond to individual members of a terrorist group. It may even help us craft strategies for splitting the fragile coalitions that make up insurgencies, as we did in Iraq. But it tells us absolutely nothing about the organization itself, or what its goals are.

I would also point out that just because some in the Shabaab movement are not interested in global jihad, this does not mean that none of them are.

Clearly, the video showing Abu Mansoor al-Amriki and other English speakers fighting in Somalia should give rise to concern about their motivations. They did not go there to fight for Somalia, they went there to fight for Islam against the kuffar.

Surely this gives us a glimpse into the motivation of many Shabaab fighters, and that motivation is no different than jihadis found in any of al Qaeda's global affiliates.

UPDATE 4/13: Steve Schippert has related thoughts here: Getting Past Somalia Inanity

Related: Al Qaeda's Africa Strategy #6: Disrupt Western Shipping

By Stable Hand at 01:38 PM | Comments |