According to national security expert Dr. James Carafano, the terrorist attack in Algeria shows that America is on the path to another 9/11, thanks to the Obama Administration’s foreign and military policy.
Carafano is Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He told me, “The warning lights are blinking red,” even while President Barack Obama pretends that things are under control.
The terrorists, Carafano claims, showed in Algeria that they have the ability to threaten American interests. He pointed out that the attack on the Sahara Desert natural-gas complex demonstrated several elements of a well-functioning international terrorist network. Those include:
- Ability to place an insider among the target’s people to gain intel
- A large group (30+) of terrorists involved and coordinated in the assault
- Ability to assemble people and weapons across borders (even from Canada) for a trans-national attack
Carafano told me that he sees a pattern developing:
We’ve got multiple terrorist attacks, each increasing in sophistication and organization, while the President of the United States is ensuring us we’ve got this under control. Here we have a President telling us–after Benghazi, after Algeria–telling the American people, “a decade of wars [are] coming to an end, we’ve got this under control.” [Meantime] the lights are blinking red.
Carafano summed up Obama’s performance in one word: “Horrific.”
“We were heading towards… 9/11, and I’m just afraid we’re on that path again,” Carafano said.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack followed a series of earlier attacks, Carafano noted, such as bombings in North Africa, the attack on the USS Cole, and the bombing of the Khobar Towers. Yet the warning signs were not heeded.
Carafano told me that President Obama doesn’t notice that re-emerging pattern: “The President thinks he’s taking care of the United States and I do believe he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. There’s something called cognitive dissonance, which is when things don’t go exactly like you say they are. You just rearrange them in your head so it all makes sense to you.”
Carafano sees the terrorists’ agenda that Obama does not: “Wherever there has been chaos and disorganization opportunity, Al Qaeda has tried to organize foreign fighters and send them in there to create a new battle front in their holy war.”
He cited Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya as following that pattern, as Al Qaeda fills in a power vacuum while also grabbing unsecured weapons. The overthrow of Libya’s dictator Qaddafi–aided by Obama–was a golden opportunity to terrorists, Carafano says:
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is an Algerian affiliate of Al Qaeda… was just about dead. They were on their knees, they were broke, they were laughing-stock and Libya let them get back in the game. That leads to Benghazi. They outsource the Islamist insurgency to Mali, so now we have a new Afghanistan in Mali, and then we have this attack in Algeria, which is also linked to Mali.
Carafano said Obama’s choice for new CIA Director, John Brennan, “unfortunately is the architect of Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy” and is letting terrorists build strength. America’s own watchdogs are lulled to sleep by Obama’s approach, Carafano noted: “You see a plot like this [in Algeria], especially after Benghazi, in the same part of the world get pulled off. And people in intelligence are just kind of blinking their eyelids and saying, ‘I didn’t know about that.'”
I recounted that America was given months of advance warnings from the murdered U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, who reported that there were terrorist training camps in the vicinity of Benghazi and elsewhere in Libya, Mali, and Algeria. Yet those reports were ignored by the State Department.
Carafano doubted that any light will be shed by the long-awaited Congressional testimony of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said he expects it to be a meaningless Kabuki dance. Nor does he expect improvements from Secretary of State nominee John Kerry or Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, because both follow the Obama Doctrine, namely:
- Outsource national security to international organizations
- Make friends with your enemy
- Ignore the War on Terror
- Substitute diplomacy for hard power
Obama re-committed to most of those very items in his second inaugural address. Carafano summed up his concerns: “The lights are blinking red. We are reverting to policies of the 1990’s, which are exactly the policies that got us to 9/11.”