It’s said it is better to be lucky than good. Up until recently President Barack Obama has been the luckiest man on earth when it comes to the war with al Qaeda. Obama and his administration have consistently underestimated the strength and reach of the international terror group.
But fortune has smiled on Obama as several jihadist terror attacks on the U.S. mainland failed due to faulty explosives (Times Square, Christmas underwear bomber) while successful attacks (Ft. Hood, Little Rock recruiting station) have been downplayed by a complicit media so as to not portray Obama in a bad light.
It appears Obama’s luck has run out however, with the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans by Libyan jihadists tied to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has focused attention, however unintended, on Obama and his administration’s habit of underestimating al Qaeda.
A Washington Post article published Monday evening about the Obama administration’s attempts to deal with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb inadvertently highlights the pattern:
U.S. officials said they are reexamining AQIM’s potential in part to avoid earlier mistakes underestimating an al-Qaeda franchise based in Yemen.
The question looming over the White House discussions, a senior U.S. intelligence official said, is: “Do you see AQIM being in the same place AQAP was five years ago?”
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemen-based affiliate is known, was similarly discounted as a regional menace until it was linked to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas in 2009.
The article went on to report Gen. Carter F. Ham, who heads up U.S. Africa Command, as saying earlier this year:
…The United States, the Malian government and other countries “missed an opportunity to deal with AQIM when they were weak,” Ham told reporters during a visit to Senegal in July.
He called AQIM the “best-funded, wealthiest” affiliate, thanks to its lucrative practice of kidnapping foreigners for ransom and its smuggling prowess.
The UK Telegraph published an article September 30th that revealed the abject failure of the Obama administration to realize how dangerous Benghazi had become:
Blue Mountain, a Wales-based firm staffed by former special forces operatives, was hired by the US government to provide security at the consulate before it was overrun in an assault that killed the ambassador and three other Americans.
The company was paid only $387,413 (£239,683) by the US State Department for the year-long contract, less than the cost of deploying a single American soldier.
In return, Blue Mountain assembled a force of local guards who were unable to protect Ambassador Chris Stevens or repel the coordinated attack on September 11.
The five-man Libyan security team was unarmed and tasked with doing basic security checks rather than fighting off armed attackers…
Obama campaigned on the premise that he would take the fight to al Qaeda. After nearly four years at the helm, Obama and his brain trust are still being caught by surprise by the preeminent Muslim terror group. Obama’s opponent in the presidential race, Mitt Romney, is set to give a foreign policy address soon after Wednesday’s debate between the candidates. One wonders if Romney sees the same deadly pattern of incompetence in Obama’s presidency.