At a House hearing earlier this week on the progress of Tunisia three years after its revolution, Rep. Deutch captured the sentiments of many in the room when expressing that both Congress and the American people are paying "insufficient" attention to a country of top-priority significance to US foreign policy.
After President Barack Obama decided to intervene militarily in the Libyan revolution -- and after he reportedly signed a finding authorizing covert action there -- weapons went from Libya to Syrian rebels, Algerian terrorists and al-Qaida in Mali.
Four years ago, as his first term began, President Barack Obama ditched the name Global War on Terror (GWOT). Instead of fighting Al-Qaida-inspired terrorism around the world, the U.S. would conduct "overseas contingency operations" (OCO).
As you read about the French military intervention in Mali, undertaken to defeat an offensive by al-Qaida's North African affiliate and loosely allied tribal rebels, remember two points.
In the eight years between the fierce October 1993 "Blackhawk Down" battle in Mogadishu, Somalia, and their own 9-11 terror strike on Washington and New York, al-Qaida's leaders touted the U.S. military's indecisive venture in Somalia as conclusive evidence of Western decadence and flagging American will.