May 23, 2016

"An American drone strike in a restive province of Pakistan killed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, the leader of the Afghan Taliban..."

... according to a statement by President Obama. In a press conference (in Hanoi, Vietnam, of all places), he said said that the U.S. is "not re-entering the day-to-day combat operations," but that Mullah Mansour was "an individual who as head of the Taliban was specifically targeting U.S. personnel and troops inside of Afghanistan who are there as part of the mission I have set to maintain a counterterrorism platform and provide assistance" and that by killing the leader he is sending the message that "we’re going to protect our people."

28 comments:

Curious George said...

Allahu Akbar motherbitches.

David said...

"by killing the leader he is sending the message that "we’re going to protect our people."

Hmmm. Somehow that does not seem the soundest thinking.

knox said...

I'm glad the bastard is dead, but is it really a "milestone"? Aren't these guys are like whack-a-mole... kill one and another pops up in its place?

Rusty said...

I'll wait for third party confirmation.

Roger Zimmerman said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't support many policies by the current administration, but I do support this one. I commend the President for continuing to approve killing these bastards in the face of great criticism from the left. I do wish he would do so more consistently, with fewer qualms about collateral damage, and with more righteous pride about the policy. The point should not be to "send a message" but to actually protect American lives.

In spite of their public pronouncements, the leaders of these Islamist groups are actually afraid to die, and killing the leadership is an important step in decreasing the power of these groups. Drone strikes are among the best ways to kill the leaders, as opposed to the grunts, who are mostly losers that don't value their own lives enough to deter with the prospect of dying. Of course, more effective would be to lay waste to the states that fund these groups (Iran and Saudi Arabia chief among them), but there is no prospect of that happening in the near future. So, droning the leadership is the best we can hope for at present.

PB said...

One falls, another takes his place.

Michael McClain said...

Aloha snack bar!! Another one gets his 72 raisins.

MadisonMan said...

What Rusty said. I'm not unhappy -- sort of -- if it happened. But I'd rather the Administration worked on the underlying causes, not the symptom, which took bodily form in Mansour.

EDH said...

Please tell me Obama didn't leave Vietnam by helicopter from the roof of the US embassy for old time sake.

mccullough said...

Are we going to be in Afghanistan for 100 years?

Sammy Finkelman said...

This presentsd a problem for Pakistan's rogue military intelligence agency, because if the Taliban doesn't have a leaderr, who then is responsible for what they are doing?

And after this, who wants to be the notional leader?

The ISI has rto avoid appearing to be in charge (which it is)

Michael K said...

"Of course, more effective would be to lay waste to the states that fund these groups (Iran and Saudi Arabia chief among them),"

Pakistan is "chief among them." What about them ?

Iran is Obama's new ally.

This is a crazy period.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Roger Zimmerman said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't support many policies by the current administration, but I do support this one. I commend the President for continuing to approve killing these bastards in the face of great criticism from the left. I do wish he would do so more consistently, with fewer qualms about collateral damage, and with more righteous pride about the policy.

The important point here is, lik with Osama bin Laden, the United States did not tell Pakistan in advance.

And they thought he was in a safe haven too.

But this won't be over till they go after the Pakistani officials in their intelligence agency who are prptecting them.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Or give them a good scare.

And there's even now apractical policy to negotiate with some of the Taliban. Not to give them some politicak power, but money.

cubanbob said...

I'm all in favor of Obama bashing, Lord knows he deserves it, but when he does the right thing he should be given credit for it. My only complaint regarding this particular event is that we (the US government) should simply not discuss it and these types of action. The bad guys can figure out who is whacking them and others like the Pakistani Intelligence Service need some "face saving" room.

madAsHell said...

We've got men in the ladies room, and a military killing random goat fuckers. The legacy of Barack.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I really dislike the "sending a message" framework. You sent a missile. It killed a guy. If he was our enemy and we wanted to kill him, good. If other people take a message from that, fine, but the point of shooting a missile at a guy should be to kill that guy.

The news reports characterized this particular guy as opposing peace talks. Peace or death my drone!
The same news reports said his #2 is a particularly nasty guy, but raised the possibility that there will be an internal power struggle now. So, you know, hope (& some change).

buwaya puti said...

I wonder what the effect of low petroleum prices will be on Taliban and Pakistani funding. Both are dependent on the Middle East economy.

Big Mike said...

I agree with knox, I agree with cubanbob, and I agree with HoodlumDoodlum. Obama deserves credit for doing the right thing, but, like knox, I suspect that another person has already popped up to take over for Mullah Akhtar.

And HoodlumDoodlum is also right. People forget how LBJ kept trying to "send a message" to the North Vietnamese leaders at various times during his war. Messages were sent, messages were received, messages were dropped into the round file. You don't send messages; you win wars by destroying your adversary's ability to fight a war. The only effective "message" ever sent was delivered to Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. It said that Hiroshima was not fluke, and we could keep on with one bomb = one city destroyed as long as we felt like it or they surrendered. They surrendered.

Char Char Binks said...

Akhtar, we hardly knew ye.

mockturtle said...

Aloha snack bar!! Another one gets his 72 raisins.

:-D

Marty said...

"Send a message" = "leading from behind."

As if the Taliban had no idea until now that we were out to kill them all.

Foreign policy by hashtag. Pathetic but at least in character.

JAORE said...

Is "Send a message" the modern equivalent of "Surgical strikes"?

I remember those. Lots of those.

Robert Cook said...

"I commend the President for continuing to approve killing these bastards in the face of great criticism from the left."

To the contrary, the "left" offers insufficient criticism of Obama's policy of murder-by-long-distance.

"I do wish he would do so more consistently, with fewer qualms about collateral damage, and with more righteous pride about the policy."

Boy Howdy! Who cares if innocent children and women and men are killed...we allegedly got a terrorist who we think we may (but may not) have been at the site of the strike!

"The point should not be to 'send a message' but to actually protect American lives."

If that were the point, we wouldn't be killing people over there in the first place, and our troops would be sitting out their terms of enlistment playing videogames and surfing porn on the web in Peoria.

Scott said...

Like many here, I despise the President, but I will give him credit for doing the right thing here. On the other hand, Hitler built the autobahns...nobody is wrong EVERY time.

Regarding the commend that when you kill one, another pops up, that is not entirely true. Aside from the morale effects (and every intelligence analysis we have done shows that there is some morale effect), the fear of these strikes limits the movements and visibility of these leaders...that is not trivial. Finally, the Israelis found out long ago that the more of the leadership (or better yet, the 'middle management' - bomb makers, logistics experts, etc.) you kill, the more you degrade the organization. It doesn't immediately collapse, but it slowly becomes less effective, and easier to counter. They passed this bit of information on to us in Iraq, and by following some of their good advice, AQ was seriously damaged.

mikeski said...

"Send a message" = "leading from behind."

If only. "Sending a message" to a large group of people by killing a few individuals... that tactic has a name.

mikee said...

Robert, I wonder what you'd have written about Napoleon in the first decade of the 1800s, or about Isabella and Ferdinand in Spain? Is there any tyrannical, genocidal power of the last 1000 years you dislike as much as the (relatively, objectively innocuous, generous and wonderful) United States?

Nichevo said...

Mikee, I can answer that for you. Hitler would be his safe out if he wished to feign sanity, because Hitler harmed communists. Otherwise, hell no!