The Obama Administration has once again launched the most capable military forces we have against the forces of terror. Two raids occurred this weekend, one in Libya and one in Somalia.
The one in Libya was successful in capturing one of the leaders of al-Qaeda who helped plan the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Al Salam. The second, however, must be further evaluated. The Navy SEALs were repelled by a very strong response from the al-Shabaab terrorist group. They had to abort their attempt to capture the leader of the group that murdered dozens of innocents in the Nairobi mall. Fortunately, it appears that none of the Navy Special Operators was killed.
It is clearly a positive thing that we have captured one major terrorist. At best, these actions will send a message that we have not forgotten what happened in 1998, and that al-Shabaab’s brutality in Nairobi is not forgotten either.
Unfortunately, the Somalia raid was an example of the Obama Administration “loving” Special Operations too much. The SEALs are about as good as it gets in direct action missions, particularly near the sea as this one was. However, several dozen superstars can still be turned back by several hundred determined enemies. They are a great option, but if you use them too much, eventually they will be defeated or slaughtered.
Special Operators are, well, special. They are not movie-style supermen.
Mr. President, use these very precious assets wisely, and sparingly. Use them only when the reward is worth the risk. They will sell themselves dearly when sent, but it had better be for the right reasons. It cannot be just because it is easier, politically, to send them than to send anyone else.