Sunday, March 22, 2009

Al Qaeda: Death From Above

From the LA Times:

"An intense, six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has taken such a toll on Al Qaeda that militants have begun turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust, U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism officials say."


Read the whole thing before the LA Times realizes it doesn't support the anti-war meme. Of course, if the LA Times editors checked in with the Long War Journal more regularly, they could have told everyone about these successes pretty much as they've unfolded.

Kudos to the Predator operators, and the Chain of Command that showed some brains and unleashed the power. I take some small vicarious satisfaction from your successes as part of the test organization that helped Abe Karem get the Predator's ur-ancestor into the sky.

Predator History Trivia: Internally we referred to the Project Amber as the 'Albatross', as in 'hanging around our neck'. To this day this causes confusion among some alums (myself included) when we talk among ourselves about past projects.

Abe Karem's then-company, Leading Systems, had (what looked like to us from the outside) some of the most fly-by-night techs and engineers as we ever ran across. All we were supposed to do on the program was facilitate their test operations and evaluate their progress. On one mission, the engine was running prior to take off when it was discovered there was some critical control function(s) that weren't working. Without shutting down, one LSI guy opened a panel, pushed some rat's nest wiring around until the thing started 'working', gingerly reinstalled the panel and gave a thumbs-up to take off. No sh**.

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