That underreported multinational airstrike in Libya might just have been a “game changer” in the fight against IS/Caliphate and other groups:
Whatever the reason the White House wants us to think it was shocked—shocked!—that the Emiratis and Egyptians did this, the Obama administration should now move swiftly to capitalize on what could be a game-changer in the war against Islamist terror, and specifically against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL).
Why is it a game-changer? Because it marks the first time two Arab nations have teamed up to launch military operations against Islamists in a third. (The 2011 involvement of Saudi troops in putting down an Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain doesn’t count, because it wasn’t about Islamist terror, and because the Saudis were invited.) Even more important, it was the first time two Sunni Muslim nations struck radical Sunni groups in a third Sunni country.
It’s come to this: Moderate Arab governments are finally proving themselves to be true moderates, if only on occasion, by taking real action against the radicals.
The first step the White House could and should take to “capitalize” on this development would be to restore the military aid it sabotaged to Egypt’s military government. Remember, Obama sided with the Muslim Brotherhood — the granddaddy to groups like IS/Caliphate — against the Egyptian military. Doing so sent the exact wrong message to Cairo and to everyone else in the region, and also to Vladimir Putin, who quickly moved in to displace Washington as Cairo’s patron.
Obama has the chance to correct a very serious error — but will he?