That was the title for yesterday’s article on a major al Qaeda gathering in Yemen, you can read the article here:

In Shadow Warfare we spend a good deal of time on American counter terror task forces in the Horn of Africa including Somalia and Yemen, there is a lot of history there, especially in the years since the attacks of 2001. We also point out how truly dangerous those areas are in terms of potential attacks on the west and even the continental United States, several have failed and trickled out of the news but clearly they are still at war with the U.S. – as they officially declared twice in the mid-1990’s.

The thing is, the U.S. Congress still has not declared war on them and the current administration still operates under the 2001 military authorization legislation which was specifically crafted around hunting down those responsible for the attacks on Washington D.C. and Boston. The CNN headline seems to suggest that the U.S. should have massively attacked that gathering if we had only been aware of it – however there was little commentary about the legal limits imposed on such actions and I’m sure there would have been a hue and cry if it had happened, especially if any of those people were American citizens.

Bottom line, we are stuck in a Gulf of Tonkin time warp, legislation passed for a very focused purpose is still the only legal enabler for military action more than a decade after its passage – the same as in Vietnam.  Congress refuses to take up its responsibility then and is doing the same thing now.  On the other hand, the military is forced to proceed on its own mission, combating jihadi terror and insurgencies, woriking under immense legal constraints and in a true operational gray area.  Should it have stuck the gathering if it had known about it….being a bit hawkish my vote would be yes because I figure if someone declares war on you then you best respond….but my guess is that even if they did know and consider acting they might well have had to pass on it due to the immense  legal and PR reaction that would follow.  A bad way to fight a war….oh, I forgot, there’s a war only for one side…ooops.

On the other hand, if you want to see what the military is doing to prepare for such engagements, take a look at the following article on the logistics of military action in denied areas far from any sort of friendly territory:

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About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

2 responses »

  1. Jim Stubbs says:

    It is very unfortunate that Congress has not actively asserted itself, in concert with the president, to clarify our engagement against terrorist entities and to establish a broad outline for rules of engagement. But congress has been abdicating its responsibilities in important matters for a long time, and unfortunately our current president seems clueless about the world of international relations and warfare.

    • Jim, I hope you get a chance to read Shadow Warfare and discuss this afterward. One of the things I learned after four years of intense study of all administrations since Roosevelt is that as far as international relations you don’t really know the true story until you get to see the source material in State Dept and White House files. Truman was badly misunderstood in regard to China and we had no idea of the horrible impact of Kissinger until we saw what was in the document releases of the last decade or so – and what we do have is far from the whole story, you will see that in Shadow Warfare.

      I can also tell you that a good number of the military forces, especially counter terrorism JSOC and Task Force leadership has been much more satisfied with the way they have been handed under the Obama Administration – they don’t get micro managed and manipulated as they did under Cheney and Rumsfeld. But that’s really hard to discuss without a joint context so perhaps we can talk if you do get a chance to read the book, especially the last couple of hundred pages.

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