Monday, April 03, 2017

TRUMP AGENDA - Expanded War on Terror

IMHO:  Those who think military power will end all terrorism are, sadly, mistaken.  They are failing to recognize that terrorists operate in small groups or are loners.  And the most dangerous are terrorists from their own country, not outsiders.

Military action can only defeat armies.  In the case of al-Shabab, they have never attacked the U.S.

"Is there a human toll of giving the military more latitude to strike terror targets?" PBS NewsHour 3/31/2017


SUMMARY:  On the campaign stump, Donald Trump promised to give the U.S. military more freedom to strike terrorist targets around the world.  Now the President has approved the Pentagon's plan to intensify its targeting of al-Shabab strongholds in Somalia.  Hari Sreenivasan speaks with former State Department official Sarah Sewall about the new changes for military operations.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Among the countries where the U.S. is fighting terrorism are Iraq, Yemen and Somalia.  Now the President has approved the Pentagon's plan to beef up its targeting of Al-Shabaab in Somalia, giving the military greater latitude to decide when and where to strike.

For more on all of this, we turn to Sarah Sewall.  She served as undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights during the Obama administration.  She's written extensively about military operations and civilian casualties.  She's now at Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Sewall, I want to first ask — just walk us through what the changes are that the Pentagon just announced.

SARAH SEWALL, Former State Department Official:  Well, essentially, President Obama had created two categories for thinking about the use of force in the context of the war on terror.

One was more like targeted killing with more restricted types of targets that you could both choose and were forced to identify, and it controlled the effects of those uses of force more closely.  The other is more like what Americans would understand as war, general hostilities.

And what has happened is, the President — the current President has now moved, according to reports, moved the Somalia engagement of U.S. forces from the category of more targeted uses of force to that of general hostilities.

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