There’s not a lot of information coming out Algeria on the hostage situation there which involved several US citizens. Al Qaeda terrorists were holding the hostages at a LP gas facility in the Algerian desert. And apparently when they tried to take the hostages into Libya, the Algerian “special forces” struck the group indiscriminately. From the Washington Times;
Algerian officials said their troops and helicopter gunships stormed the gas facility where Islamic extremists were holding foreign hostages, including several Americans, when the terrorists tried to leave plant with their captives.
An unknown number of hostages were killed in the military assault, according to various accounts.
Algerian state media said four foreign hostages had been freed in the raid and at least one of them, Michael McFaul, a Briton from West Belfast, was able to speak by telephone to his family.
There’s a difference between special forces troops in the US and those in the third world. In the third world, they mean people who will kill anyone anytime in the most brutal way available. They’re usually not trained well, except in firepower. NBC broadcast news is reporting that only two Americans survived the attack by Algerian forces, but information is sketchy.
As we ramp up our participation in Africa, I hope the generals, who have recently forgotten every lesson they ever learned, keep this incident in mind when planning for security for the troops there. Other nations won’t protect Americans in the same way that Americans will protect Americans. Another example would be the “Black Hawk Down” incident wherein, US troops were dependent on Pakistani armor to evacuate them from the firefight.
While it’s commendable that the US is letting France lead in Mali, we shouldn’t hitch our little red wagon to them there, because we’re going to be disappointed with the outcome.
Category: Military issues