In the fog of a Presidential election, Democrats were eager to declare victory over terror – see BooMan’s front-page story in June 2012. I did not agree – Dream on Guys. Soon a deterioration was seen and has continued.
The world has become a more dangerous place as the backlash of the US War on Terror (WOT) has become a potent global threat. Before the invasion of Iraq, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq and the war lords in the Magreb kept a low profile. The dictatorships of Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Mubarak and Assad were a thorn in the eyes of Western democracies on human rights abuses. The Gulf States were and are left alone because of their oil and gas resources and their unlimited wealth. A welcome source for capital investments in our financial markets and a destination for export of Western sophisticated military equipment.
The Arab uprising in Tunisia and Egypt were most promising, however in the past weeks the tide has turned to a failure in democracy and assassinations/violence has returned. The intervention in Libya has never made the country stable as it is split by a multitude of warlords and roaming militias. The massive supplies of arms inside Libya has spread throughout North African countries and reached militants throughout. Battles and war has increased in Algeria, Mali, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria. Hundreds of innocent civilians have been slaughtered. Shipments of Libyan arms has been diverted through Qatar to foreign fighters in Syria. The overthrow of the Assad regime has been an idea-fix of US administrations and the old colonial powers Great Britain and France. A complete disaster has unfolded as Western powers, jointly with new-found allies of the Gulf States and Turkey, would be succesful in a matter of a few months. Repeatedly Obama and H. Clinton voiced satisfactory statements of imminent victory in the fall of the Assad regime. Thirty months have passed and the death toll reached 100,000 victims, refugees and displaced persons poses a security threat in the region. The prospect of a military solution is beyond anyone’s scope. Even the Geneva commitment of June 2012 has been undermined by the Western alliance from the start. The political opposition was never united and are in shambles through infighting and a slpit between Saudi Arabia and Qatar for most influence. I never understood the blurred vision of Hillary Clinton as she traveled endlessly from one capital to another. Putting on miles but no tangible results.
The instability in the Middle-East will prove a challenge for any peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Israel’s security is at risk as the sectarian war between Islamic factions of Alawites, Sunnis and Shiites has engulfed all nations from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria to Iraq. The revolt of the Shia majority in the Gulf state of Bahrain is succesfully suppressed by joint forces with military from Saudi Arabia. After five years of Obama presidency, there is no dialogue with Iranian leadership and a deteriation in the relation with former allies and friendly nations. No surprise, the State Department has given an International Threat warning to US citizens traveling abroad and the US Embassies and consulates in specific countries for the month of August. September 11, 2013 is coming near, and the US promise to apprehend the murderers of four US citizens in the Benghazi attack has not been fulfilled.
Here is the State Department’s world-wide alert. In addition State Department to Close 21 Embassies Sunday Over Fears of Al Qaeda Attack.
(Washington Wire) – The State Department issued a world-wide travel alert Friday, citing the potential threat of a terrorist attack from al Qaeda. Here is the text of the alert.
August 2, 2013
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula. Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August. This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2013.
Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services. U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.
We continue to work closely with other nations on the threat from international terrorism, including from al-Qa’ida. Information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.
We recommend U.S. citizens register their travel plans with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens Traveling abroad enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website at travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. Download our free Smart Traveler app, available through iTunes or Google Play, to have travel information at your fingertips.