During the Presidential Campaign One of the Criticisms that President Obama faced was that He was not strong enough to Face the Threat of Terrorism. Within Days of His taking the Oath of Office there were US Airstrikes in Pakistan. Now comes word that during the same timeframe there was a similar attack in Sudan.
The timing in both the attack being launched and in the reporting of the attack are interesting. The Incoming Administration was very critical of the outgoing Administration for its lack of Action Regarding the Crisis in Darfur. The Targets of the Attack suprisingly were not the Janjaweed or the Sudanese Military. The Targets of the US Strike were Arms Smugglers that some felt were on their way to Gaza to support Hamas in its Operations against Israel.
The first question has to be why the silence from Washington and Khartoum for Two Months? One Reason could be that this was an effort by Sudanese and American Intelligence cooperating in counter terrorism Operations. Just this week Al-Qaida released an Audio Tape stating that the Sudanese President was getting a just reward for supporting the American Crusaders. It has also been alledged by the Israelis that Sudan was a transit point in Arms Shipments going from Iran to the Gaza Strip.
According to the Sudanese Government the Casualties were from Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. This fact will be seen by some Counterterrorism Experts as a Strike Against Radical Islamist Elements. The List of Damage includes the destruction of 17 Vehicles and the Deaths of at least 39 Fighters. The Sudanese Government has compiled an impressive Dossier of this Incident.
So on the Surface this appears to be an Air Strike against Radical Elements and not against the Sudanese Government. The first impression was that this strike was to show displeasure with events in Darfur. Earlier this month President Bashir was Indicted by the International Criminal Court for Crimes committed in Darfur. The Last Special Envoy for Sudan in the Bush Administration did draft a Memorandum that Reccommended US Air Strikes as part of a Program to force the Sudanese Government to comply with UN Resolutions.
Another reason for scrutiny is the timing of the release of this Information. This Information was reported in an Egyptian Newspaper during a visit to that Country by the Sudanese President. Now Egypt is an ally of the United States and is not a signatory to the Rome Statute (ICC). The Press Reports Indicated that the Sudanese President was in Cairo to formulate a response to an Incident that was a "Violation to its Soverignity".
There are several possible scenarios that may play out. First there will be some criticism of the US for launching this attack in Sudan. There will be charges of this was an effort to protect Israel and other acts. Another scenario could be a terrorist attack against a US Interest in the region. The UN Mission in Eastern Chad could be attacked as well. There is a good chance of blowback as a result of this Operation.
Whatever happens next could have the Fingerprints of Sudanese Intelligence on it. It could even be in support of the LRA as it regroups after the 90 Day Campaign in Garmaba National Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The next question is that it has been two months since the Attacks. How long will the Sudanse wait to reply? And Against Whom? It appears now that Israel could be blamed for this attack as well. There has been no confirmation from Either Washington or Tel Aviv regarding this attack.
Scott A Morgan
Editor Confused Eagle