Bringing the September 11 attack on the Benghazi Consulate finally full circle today, a new analysis piece is reporting that the reason the Pentagon didn’t respond to a multi-hour attack in a Libyan city is that, shockingly, the US doesn’t have a massive military force deployed in Africa ready for any and all possible adventures.
That’s going to change, of course, and military officials say this has given “new energy” to the call for massive deployments in Africa.
Its mostly uncritically presented, of course. It’s just a formality really: something happened and now the US is going to throw troops at it. That’s the one constant in US foreign policy.
The practical matters are entirely ignored, of whether a US quick-action force inside Africa would really be any closer to Benghazi, a port city on the Mediterranean Sea which is a 90 minute flight from Naples, than the one that’s already in Europe. That the attack was a function of a State Department not taking security even a little seriously and ignoring repeated expressions of concern, that’s out of the conversation too. The US spends an outrageous amount of money on the military, and the idea that any given city on the planet doesn’t have a bunch of US helicopter gunships deployable in a matter of minutes is a shock to the narrative of the all-powerful US military.
The lack of a “quick-reaction force” in Africa should be a function of the complete lack of legitimate US security interests in Africa to justify such a force. Instead its being bemoaned as a failing while officials look for more and more points of military involvement in Africa to justify yet more escalation.