There is a lot of confusion about what happened in Benghazi, but it’s increasingly clear that a decision was made by those in charge not to send reinforcements and it’s not entirely clear why not, once they had knowledge of events unfolding (fear of another Desert One?):
‘There are scant signs of any serious investigation into Ansar al-Sharia at the moment—a marked departure from the frenetic interest in the group in the days following the assault. On the heels of the attack, Libyan officials picked up a couple dozen people they said may have had information about the siege. Four remain in custody and all are linked to Ansar al-Sharia. But major figures in the Benghazi Salafist and jihadist firmament have not been questioned—including Ahmed Abu Khattala, the founder of another Salafist militia called Abu Obaida Bin Jarrah, which has some crossover membership with Ansar al-Sharia. ‘
As others have pointed out, the forces that have been unleashed in the Middle East, the rise of the Islamism, and the retrenching Al-Qaida may require greater realism, realpolitik, and overall strategy than the current administration’s liberal internationalist approach (the anti-Bush approach) is able to handle.
There’s also arguably no greater blow to morale than potentially leaving men to fight it out on their own, and perhaps, disobey orders in order to do their duty. A tough spot.
Via Christopher Dickey, Eli Lake and Jaime Dettmer at Newsweek, the most accurate account of events about that night in Benghazi that I’ve come across.
From Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘Exclusive: Libya Cable Detailed Threats’‘Eli Lake At The Daily Beast: ‘U.S. Officials Knew Libya Attacks Were Work of Al Qaeda Affiliates’ From The BBC Via Michael Totten: ‘Libya: Islamist Militia Bases Stormed In Benghazi’
Al Qaida back in AfPak: Lara Logan On Afghanistan Via Youtube: ’2012 BGA Annual Luncheon Keynote Speech’
The rise of Islamism across the region…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill
Didn’t we have this discussion a while ago: Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others
Brzezinski and Kissinger still having it out?: From Newsweek: Henry Kissinger ‘Deployments And Diplomacy’… Youtube Via Foreign Affairs: Zbigniew Brzezinski Discusses NATO And Foreign Policy