DEBKAfile says that George Bush was right when he said that we may not win this war:
The brutal school siege in Beslan, North Ossetia, this week, was on example of a regional operation run by semi-autonomous regional or local affiliates over which the overall leadership has little control.
The school siege was masterminded by the Saudi wing of al Qaeda in Chechnya. Al Qaeda cells based in Iran are prone to manipulation by Tehran for political and military ends that are foreign to the movement?s objectives. Al Qaeda is also found in league with Iran and the Lebanese Hizballah in attempting to grab footholds in South Lebanon and Gaza Strip.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi sometimes acts out his own agenda in Iraq.
The first cracks are marring the once rock-smooth relations of unity and obedience binding the fundamentalist terror network?s various operational branches to the directives handed down by the top leaders.
This fragmentation of al Qaeda into ungovernable entities allied with outside forces, embedded in civilian populations and targeting other civilians, seriously hampers the efforts of counter-terror force to catch ? let alone prevail over – all its widely-diffused fighting elements ? certainly not by conventional military means.
A few thoughts:
- The degradation of al-Qaeda’s command and control structure is good and bad. Like killing termites–if you don’t get them all, they’ll pop up again in a new spot.
- This is not a war that can be fought with traditional military units, any more than the English army’s traditional approach to war was effective against the unconventional tactics of the American rebels during the early days of the Revolution.
- What’s likely to result, in Russia and here in the U.S., are further restrictions on personal freedom in the name of rooting out the terrorists in our midst.