After the first massive clash of arms in during the Great War, combatants on both sides began to extend their trenches to either side until the Western Front became one continuous trenchline. Without anyone being quite aware of it at first, a vast stage was set upon which a tragedy would be enacted. In a somewhat analogous manner, the zones of global conflict are spreading to distant corners of the globes from their initial centers of gravity.
Peter Shinkman, writing in MSN says ‘ISIS [is] making deadly inroads in Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan”. Osama bin Laden’s plan to oust the West from Muslim countries, create chaos and establish a caliphate is succeeding better than he could have expected. It’s spread now and may spread further.
It’s irrelevant – for now – whether the expanding presence of the Islamic State group is at the explicit direction of its reclusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or if regional “lone wolf” insurgents are branding themselves as such. What matters is that average citizens from Libya to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and perhaps even farther – believe now more than ever this murderous firebrand could show up at their front doors.
After watching Zero Dark Thirty on the eve of the 2012 elections, who would associate al-Qaeda with North Africa? Yet the New York Times reports that the militants who attacked the US consulate were al-Qaeda affiliated. Citing UN documents as well as other sources as a basis, the NYT writes:
Witnesses in Benghazi as well as United States officials say that Ansar al-Shariah fighters played a major role in the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
El presidente appears to have minimized the fact that a threat is growing across North Africa. The Nation reports that “For years now, the Pentagon has been increasing its missions there and promoting a mini-basing boom that has left it with a growing collection of outposts sprouting across the northern tier of the continent.” So he must have known something was up.
This string of camps is meant to do what more than a decade of counterterrorism efforts, including the training and equipping of local military forces and a variety of humanitarian hearts-and-minds missions, has failed to accomplish: transform the Trans-Sahara region in the northern and western parts of the continent into a bulwark of stability.
Janes has stills from videos of an Islamic group overrunning Egyptian detachments in the Sinai, including on which overran an “Egyptian Army mechanised detachment that was dug in and equipped with at least two M60 tanks, two M113 armoured personnel carriers, and one YPR-765 armoured fighting vehicle.” The country of the soaring Cairo speech is immersed in big trouble.