War with Iran (15): From the Annals of American Military Invincibility

So this isn’t a story specifically about Iran, but close enough:

WASHINGTON — Armed with rifles and explosives, about a dozen Shabab fighters destroyed an American surveillance plane as it was taking off and ignited an hours long gunfight earlier this month on a sprawling military base in Kenya that houses United States troops. By the time the Shabab were done, portions of the airfield were burning and three Americans were dead.

Surprised by the attack, American commandos took around an hour to respond. Many of the local Kenyan forces, assigned to defend the base, hid in the grass while other American troops and support staff were corralled into tents, with little protection, to wait out the battle. It would require hours to evacuate one of the wounded to a military hospital in Djibouti, roughly 1,500 miles away.

The brazen assault at Manda Bay, a sleepy seaside base near the Somali border, on Jan. 5, was largely overshadowed by the crisis with Iran after the killing of that country’s most important general two days earlier, and is only now drawing closer scrutiny from Congress and Pentagon officials.

What scrutiny?

No need to worry, though. Any further imminent attacks can easily be averted by identifying the functional equivalent within Al Shabab of Qasim Suleimani, and assassinating him. If it worked for Iran, it’ll work for Kenya, right? In fact, given the imperative of killing Suleimani in revenge for the death of a single American contractor, it seems we now have the imperative of killing three Suleimanis for the deaths of the three Americans killed in Kenya. And just as we needn’t fear that Iran or its proxies might attack us in Iraq, we needn’t worry about it in Kenya. We’re invincible. We’re the USA. Why, if they even dared to think about attacking us, we’d flatten them. So I’m sure they wouldn’t.

Of course, relying on knowledge of the utility-functions of people we don’t understand is a hazardous enterprise. But we’ve been honing our skills since MacArthur pushed his troops to the Yalu River.

The attack is raising new and complex questions about the enduring American military mission on the continent, where more than 5,000 troops now serve, especially as the Pentagon weighs the potential withdrawal of hundreds of forces from West Africa to better counter threats from Russia and China. A Pentagon proposal to reduce the American military footprint in Africa drew sharp criticism last week from senior lawmakers of both parties, including Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is a close adviser to President Trump.

You can always count on Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump to have our interests at heart. What could go wrong?

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