Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Quiet Front

This is an active front, to be sure, but it is being fought quietly (from the perspective of our media attention):

For most of this month, some 4,000 soldiers and police have been searching areas east of the capital, killing or capturing nearly a hundred al Qaeda members and finding over 20 hideouts and camps. The security forces believe they have destroyed a major part of the al Qaeda network, and gathered information leading to the surviving members of al Qaeda in North Africa. A key factor in the success of this sweep has been the American EP-3 electronic monitoring aircraft (based in Rota, Spain), which have been flying patrols over suspected terrorist base areas for months. The EP-3s can intercept terrorist communications in rural areas, and this provided data, including locations, of the terrorist hideouts and rural camps. These aerial patrols were kept secret, so the terrorists would not limit the use of their radios and cell phones.
This is part of a regional effort. There are many ways to kill jihadis. Direct combat on a large scale is the least desirable way, of course. Helping others kill jihadis is the best. We need to use them all.