The Algerian hostage crisis continues to unfold in dramatic fashion: Reuters and other news agencies are reporting that dozens of hostages were able to escape their captors, while an as yet undetermined number were killed, when the Algerian military launched a rescue operation at a remote natural gas facility deep in the desert. A number of hostages, including at least two Americans, remain in captivity.
The kidnappers belong to an organization calling itself the Battalion of Blood. They are demanding an end to the foreign invasion of Mali that is seeking to push out Islamist militants from the large swathe of territory they’ve taken over.
Here once again we have an incident in the global war on terror, the war we’re supposedly not fighting anymore. “Bin Laden is dead, we’re pulling out of Afghanistan, we’d like to be through with insurgency wars generally—but insurgency wars, it seems, aren’t through with us,” writes Fred Kaplan at Slate.
That’s about right; America is long past ready for the war on terror to be over, but there is no end in view.