Will we run out of drones before al Qaida runs out of number two men? Good question these days, since we just took out another number two. Now, if we could just find out which cave Ayman al-Zawahri is hiding in so we can set of another power struggle in al Qaida leadership.
The CIA has confirmed that their drone strikes in Pakistan killed Abu Yahia al-Libi, the strategic leader of al Qaida operations and number two to al-Zawahiri. Five people believed to be associated with al Qaida were killed in six drone strikes inside Pakistan, raising hues and cries from the Pakistani government over our incursions into their territory. Well, if they were killing or arresting al Qaida members instead of ignoring them or dealing with them, we wouldn’t be doing this.
How many al Qaida leaders does the Obama administration have to take out before the right stops saying the President is a failure at defending our country? Okay, dumb question. We could wipe al Qaida and every terrorist organization off the face of the planet and the right would still say he’s an ineffectual leader. Best guess right now is the administration, using these drone strikes and the assault on bin Laden’s compound have removed almost 30 al Qaida leaders in the past 13 months. We have been targeting al Qaida in Yemen and Pakistan using material seized from the bin Laden compound, a more relevant source than the ten year old “intelligence” gotten by waterboarding anyone in Gitmo. Terror cells typically do not know very much about each other, and only a central organizer like bin Laden or al Zawahiri would even know where there are al Qaida cells. That simple truth hasn’t stopped the right wing from claiming that bin Laden was killed because of ten-year-old information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
If al Qaida’s leadership were depicted on a deck of cards, like those infamous ones in Iraq, more than half of them would be out of the deck already. That’s a pretty good track record, especially since we didn’t make any headway against them for the seven years the Bush administration had us mired in Afghanistan and Iraq.