The Military Response to Terrorism
Captain Mark E. Kosnik, U.S. Navy
OVER THE PAST THIRTY YEARS, INTERNATIONAL state-sponsored
terrorism has emerged as a concern for the United States. Although the
number of terrorist acts varies from year to year, even during periods
of minimal activity terrorism remains a frequent topic in the media
and an issue for policy makers. The 1998 bombings of two embassies in
Africa, resulting in over two hundred deaths, reminded the American leadership
and public that terrorism remains a danger in an increasingly unstable
Of all the tools used by the United States to contain terrorism, none
has been more controversial than military force. Skeptics argue that military
force does not deter terrorism and in fact only results in more violence,
when the terrorist retaliates. Certainly, collateral damage, casualties
to innocent civilians and U.S. servicemen, damage to international alliances,
and other undesirable outcomes can result from any military operation.
Nonetheless, the record supports the view that military force can be a
valuable part of the U.S. strategy to contain terrorism: under certain
conditions, the political and strategic gains justify employment of military
force against terrorism, as a complement to efforts in the political,
economic, and law enforcement arenas.
This article presents three historical cases: the U.S. air strikes in
Libya in 1986, the cruise missile attacks on Iraq in 1993, and the cruise
missile strikes against Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998. We will examine
the military, political, and strategic outcomes from each of these incidents,
asking in each case exactly what the use of military force accomplished.
Why were these particular cases selected? There are few from which to
choose; the United States has seldom used military force to counter terrorism.
The Iraqi case is somewhat problematic, because although the U.S. military
action was specifically a response to a terrorist threat, it is more properly
viewed as part of the larger confrontation between the United States and
Iraq, unrelated to terrorism; the Sudan and Afghanistan strikes are very
recent, and their long-term results are yet to unfold. Nonetheless, these
uses of military force were responses to three of the most significant
terrorist acts committed against U.S. interests in the past thirty years,
and they are among the clearest examples available.
Case One: Libya, 1986
Colonel Muammar Qaddafi rose to power in
Libya by a coup, overthrowing King Idris I in September 1969. Almost from
the beginning, Qaddafi extended support to terrorist or guerrilla groups
across the globe that were anti-Western or anti-American. Throughout the
1970s, Qaddafi sponsored terrorists as diverse as the infamous "Carlos,"
the Red Brigades of Italy, the Red Army in Germany, Direct Action in France,
FP-25 in Portugal, neo-Nazi activists in Spain, and right-wing terrorists
in Italy and Germany.1 He
also built a highly effective terrorist organization within Libya, responsible
for the 1973 attack on the Information Service installation at the American
consulate in Morocco and for the seizure (in which two Americans were
killed) of the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.2 Qaddafi
developed ties with the most extreme and violent terrorist groups of the
day, including Abu Nidal, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and state-terrorist
organizations in Syria and Iran.3
Ronald Reagans administration saw Libya as the primary terrorist
threat. Qaddafi was contributing to a new and increasingly more violent
wave of terrorism, and he was openly calling for attacks on the West,
and praising even the most brutal actions. Qaddafi had become both the
personification and symbolic leader of an emerging international terrorist
For the Reagan administration, the increasingly
frequent and violent terrorist acts of Middle Eastern groups took center
stage. There was clear evidence that three countriesLibya, Syria,
and Iranwere responsible for this wave of violence. It appeared,
however, that Iranian and Syrian activities were for the most part limited
to the Middle East itself, while Libyan terror had a more international
orientation. Iran and Syria tried to distance themselves officially from
terrorism. Libya, in contrast,
provided the bulk of funding for the hard-line
Palestinian groups, while Syria was comparatively poor and therefore
expended far less money on terrorism; the two countries shared the arming
and training; Syria played host to the headquarters of most of these
groups after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982; and Syrian intelligence
apparently tended to work more closely with these groups than did Libyan
intelligence, whose technical expertise was no match for that of the
Syrians. Libyas contribution to the overall infrastructure of
international terrorism was greater than [those of] Syria and Iran and
possibly of any other country. The Qaddafi regime was the closest thing
in existence to a missionary society for world terrorism; the role of
Syria and Iran with terrorism outside the Middle East was much smaller.4
In the mid-1980s, Libyan terrorism grew more
public and threatening. For instance, in 1984 personnel inside the Libyan
embassy in London fired upon anti-Qaddafi demonstrators, killing a policewoman
and injuring several other people. Later that year, Libyan responsibility
was established for the laying of mines that had damaged nineteen ships
in the Red Sea.5 In retrospect, the Reagan administration may have overestimated
the danger from Libyan terrorism in comparison to that which Iran and
Syria represented, but the likelihood of a Soviet reaction to any operations
against either Iran or Syria made it easier to focus on Qaddafi.
On 21 December 1985, as the White House was struggling with
options for how to deal with Libya, simultaneous attacks by Palestinian
extremists using AK-47 assault rifles and grenades at Romes Leonardo
da Vinci Airport and Viennas Schwechat Airport killed nineteen people,
including five U.S. citizens. The brutality of the attack was made particularly
vivid to the American public: "One of the American victims was eleven-year-old
Natasha Simpson, who after being blasted to her knees [had] received an
additional burst of gunfire aimed directly at her head; she became a symbolic
martyr of terrorism. . . . Vivid television footage showed corpses and
huge pools of the victims blood on the airport floors, and President
Reagan and the American people were enraged."6 Libyas state news agency praised the attacks. The
U.S. government gathered information that, although never made fully public,
led it to believe that Libya may have sponsored them.7
The American people were becoming increasingly convinced
that Qaddafi was responsible, and many voices demanded a response. The
administration considered military options but put them on hold, hoping
instead to generate European support for economic sanctions and political
initiatives; these began with the freezing of a billion dollars in Libyan
assets in the United States. Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead
went to Europe seeking commitments to, among other initiatives, a reduction
in the importation of Libyan oil and a halt in sales of military equipment
to Libya. His mission was unsuccessful.8
The United States then revisited its military
options. In March 1986, the aircraft carrier USS America (CV 66)
was sent to join the carriers USS Saratoga (CV 60) and USS Coral
Sea (CV 43) in the Mediterranean. The three carriers, with twenty-seven
other warships, were ordered to operate north of Libya to intimidate Qaddafi
and demonstrate U.S. resolve. In a mission designated PRAIRIE FIRE, U.S.
naval forces entered the Gulf of Sidra and sent aircraft toward the coast,
where they were fired on by Libyan SA-5 missiles. Several hours later,
when the same missile fire control radar tracked other U.S. planes, two
Navy A-7 attack aircraft fired antiradiation missiles at the site, and
the emissions ceased. Later that evening, two Libyan patrol boats were
destroyed and one damaged as they approached a surface action group in
the Gulf of Sidra.9 There
were no more aggressive movements by Libyan military forces, and the U.S.
fleet withdrew from the Gulf of Sidra without damage.
Tensions between Libya and the United States,
however, were at an all-time high. The U.S. armada had done little to
intimidate Qaddafi, who now ordered the "Peoples Bureaus"
(Libyan embassies) in East Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid, and other European
capitals to undertake terrorist acts against American targets.10
Less than two weeks later, on 5 April 1985, the La Belle Discotheque in
Berlin was bombed, killing two American soldiers and a Turkish woman.
There were 229 additional casualties, including seventy-nine Americans,
most of them soldiers. Independent communication intercepts by U.S., British,
and German intelligence groups immediately confirmed Libyan sponsorship
of the bombings.11
The Reagan administration decided that the attack demanded a response.
Having been unable to generate the European support necessary to implement
meaningful economic or political sanctions, President Reagan turned to
what he deemed his only remaining optionunilateral military action.
The Strike. Nine days after the La Belle disco bombing,
U.S. military forces conducted Operation ELDORADO CANYON, a night air
strike against five targets in Libya. Eighteen Air Force F-111s from the
48th Tactical Fighter Wing bombed three targets in Tripoli, while
a force of over seventy Navy and Marine Corps strike, fighter, and support
aircraft from the carriers Coral Sea and America simultaneously
struck two targets in Benghazi.
The F-111s, flying 2,500 miles from their base at Lakenheath,
in the United Kingdom, had been assigned three targets in downtown Tripoli:
the Azziziyah military barracks, the Sidi Balal terrorist training camp
(near the harbor), and the military section of the Tripoli airport. These
targets had been selected because of their suspected involvement
with Qaddafis terrorist organization.12
The aircraft arrived over Tripoli in the early hours of 14 April; nine
F-111s attacked Azziziyah, six the airport, and three Sidi Balal.13 The raid caught the Libyan military by surprise, but surface-to-air
missile and antiaircraft artillery fire increased as the raid progressed.
At the same time, carrier aircraft were attacking their targets at Benghazi.
Six A-6 bombers attacked military targets at Benina Airport, while
another six dropped ordnance on the Jamahiriyah military barracks.14
In several respects, ELDORADO CANYON was a remarkable testimony
to the capabilities of the U.S. military: it was a highly complex mission,
involving elaborate coordination between the Navy and Air Force, extreme
ranges for the F-111s (which flew what was then the longest combat mission
in the history of military aviation, in terms of both time and distance),
and precise air strikes at night against substantial defenses.15
Judging, however, by the actual damage inflicted on the five targets,
the strike was only marginally successful. In Tripoli, all three targets
were hit, but the damage achieved was less than had been anticipated,
and many of the specific "aimpoints" were missed entirely. Many
of the planes suffered equipment or navigation problems, and only two
of the nine F-111s that flew against Azziziyah actually delivered ordnance.16
Apparently only four of the eighteen aircraft actually hit their assigned
Additionally, one of the Air Force aircraft was lost (presumably shot
down) during the raid, and both crewmen were killed.
Results at Benghazi were only slightly better.
Although both targets were hit, the damage done was also below expectations.
The Jamahiriyah barracks were heavily damaged, and many of the targets
at the Benina Airfield were damaged;18
however, as in Tripoli, many of the aircraft did not deliver their weapons.
Rear Admiral Jerry C. Breast, commander of the Coral Sea battle
group, speculated that only about 10 percent of the assigned aircraft
actually got weapons on target.19
Disappointment in the military effectiveness
of the strikes was deepened by the collateral damage they caused. In the
Benghazi region, bombs fell on a gas station and a dispensary, killing
innocent civilians. At Jamahiriyah, a warehouse that was not on the target
list was destroyed. In Tripoli, the collateral damage was substantial;
bombs falling in the citys Bin Ashur region damaged the French embassy
and numerous other structures. Reports varied, but the raids killed approximately
thirty-seven people and injured ninety-three, most of them civilians.20
The Libyan regime wasted no time in using the collateral
damage in an attempt to generate sympathy for Libya and condemnation of
the United States. Within hours of the strike, foreign journalists were
taken to the scenes of the damage and to hospitals to witness the death,
injury, and destruction inflicted on innocent civilians.21
These unintended human costs were to become a major part of later criticisms
of Reagans decision to use armed force against the Libyan regime.
The raid did appear to have had a personal
impact on Qaddafi, who is believed to have been in the Azziziyah compound
when the bombs fell. He was not injured, but Libyan sources reported that
his adopted fifteen-month-old daughter had been killed and two of his
sons seriously injured.22 Qaddafi did in fact seem distracted for a period of time
following the strikes; he made few public appearances and considerably
reduced his terrorist rhetoric.
Colonel Qaddafi [was] seen only fleetingly in the weeks afterward,
and even then only in controlled situations. He canceled public appearances
and, to all intents and purposes, seemed to vanish into the desert for
days at a time. According to some observers who saw him after the mission,
he seemed extremely quiet, distracted, and even "unhinged."
No Western reporter was granted an interview until over two months had
The Results. ELDORADO CANYON is perhaps the most valuable
of the three case studies, because enough time has elapsed to discern
its long-term effects. From that perspective, the clearest and perhaps
most important outcome of the U.S. military action was that it weakened
Qaddafis ability to intimidate through terrorism. After almost sixteen
years of violence and bluster, his image as a feared and powerful adherent
of international terrorism had been challenged.
The strike aggravated, or helped expose, a weakness that
previously had been latent or not apparent to outsiders. The bombing did
not cause the Libyan people to rally around their leader; rather, in the
months following the raid many Libyans began to question openly Qaddafis
authority for the first time. There were reports that force had to be
used to put down rebellious Libyan military units. It appears that Qaddafis
hold over both the military and intelligence establishments was weakened
in the aftermath of the strike;24
additionally, the U.S. attack put the Libyan terrorist apparatus
on the defensive, less able to focus on new activities.
Libyan isolation on the international scene also became apparent. The
strike had exposed Qaddafis vulnerability, and his credibility and
influence on the world stage began to erode. There was little public sympathy
for him in Arab capitals. Most moderate Arab nations had apparently tired
of Qaddafis extremist views and his campaign of terror. The U.S.
raid may have helped convince some of these nations that it was time to
distance themselves. In addition, the Soviet Unionpreviously one
of Libyas closest alliesbegan to back away. The Libyan-Soviet
political and military cooperation that had existed prior to the raid
now slowly deteriorated, and it would never again be as strong. It would
be difficult to prove that the strike, by itself, left Qaddafi broken
and isolated. Clearly, however, it was an important first step in the
eventual erosion of his agenda.
After almost sixteen years of violence and bluster, his
image as a feared and
powerful adherent of international terrorism had been challenged.
A third major result of the air strike was the emergence
of a new degree of cooperation between America and Europe in diplomatic
and economic measures against Libya. Whether out of a genuine desire to
take strong action against Libya or of fear that failure to cooperate
would result in additional U.S. military action, European nations now
supported nonmilitary options that they had earlier rejected.25 In the days following
the bombing a number of nations, including Germany, Great Britain, Spain,
and Ireland, placed restrictions on Libyan diplomats and employees of
the Libyan embassies. In the next months, over a hundred Libyan diplomats
and four hundred other Libyan citizens were expelled from Europe.26 The removal of these individuals, who had long been suspected
of supporting terrorism throughout Europe, severely hampered the operation
and effectiveness of Qaddafis international terrorist apparatus.
Also, in a distinct reversal, most Western European countries ended airline
service with Libya, and some took strong steps to reduce trade. During
the summer of 1986 several European nations began to reduce imports of
Libyan oil and to cut off financing they had previously extended to that
Many believe that this new cooperation with Europe, stimulated by the
American air strike and extending across a broad spectrum of political,
diplomatic, and economic fronts, was to have a most positive impact on
the war against terrorism.28
In the United States, there was staunch support on Capitol
Hill, and polls found that 77 percent of the public approved the raid.29 The importance of these polls should not be overstated,
but they did suggest that the American public saw Qaddafi as a growing
danger and that Americans generally felt that military force could be
an acceptable response to a terrorist threat.
Notwithstanding, the immediate reaction overseas
was negative. President Reagan received intense international criticism,
particularly from Europe.30 Europeans opposed the strikes, fearing they would incite
an escalation of terrorism, with the European Community (as the European
Union was then known) a likely target. However, as time passed and the
expected escalation never developed, European outrage waned.
This strike, then, had demonstrated American resolve to take strong action
against terrorism and had not permanently damaged European relations.
Fundamentally, however, it had been aimed at Qaddafi as a terrorist. Did
these military strikes deter or encourage Libyan terrorism? Even today
this issue is subject to considerable debate. Cause and effect are extremely
problematic; in the wake of the strike, several influencesthe military
effects, diplomatic action, and economic sanctionswere acting simultaneously.
The conventional wisdom had been that military
action against Libya would only lead to further terrorism in reprisal.
What actually happened provides little support to that theory. In the
weeks following the raid there were in fact shootings involving American
and British citizens in Sudan, Yemen, and Lebanon, apparent reprisals
for the air strike; thereafter, however, there was a sudden and dramatic
decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism.31 The U.S. State Department assessment was that "although
detectable Libyan involvement in terrorist activity dropped significantly
in 1986 and 1987 after the U.S. air raids in April 1986, Qaddafi shows
no signs of forsaking terrorism."32 Ultimately he would indeed resume it, but in far more covert
and less confrontational ways. Libya was to be involved, for instance,
in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing
all 259 persons aboard and eleven on the ground. Some contend that this
particularly shocking act was a direct retaliation to the U.S. strike
and is in itself sufficient proof that the use of force against Qaddafi
was a mistake. It is essential to remember, however, that Qaddafi was
already a committed terrorist; the historical record suggests that his
attacks against innocent civilians would have continued even had the United
States not acted militarily. As it was, the trend of escalating Libyan
terrorism had been broken; after the strike, that threat was neither as
severe nor as pervasive as it had been.
The view that the U.S. raid actually reduced Libyan terrorism
has not received universal assent. It has been argued, on the basis of
a complex empirical approach known as vector-autoregression-intervention
analysis, that the strike actually resulted in an increase in Libyan terrorism.
However, the data set used is questionable, because it counts verbal threats
as "terrorist acts"; the reported increase in terrorism is directly
accounted for by more such threats.33 The conclusions of that particular study are therefore suspect.
Whether the U.S. air strike actually decreased the number
of Libyan terrorist acts, it definitely did not lead to a spiraling escalation
of violence between the United States and Libya. As one observer sees
it, "Over against the rigid assertion that military force cannot
possibly accomplish anything against terrorism, and in fact will only
create a cycle of worse violence, it appears that the U.S. attack may
have helped break the cycle of accelerating Middle Eastern terrorism dating
In summary, ELDORADO CANYON stands as a significant event in the U.S.
war against terrorism. For the first time, U.S. military force was employed
in direct retaliation to state-sponsored terrorism. Despite the only moderate
military effectiveness of the attack, the accompanying severe collateral
damage, and the initial condemnation by European allies, the Air Force
and Navy bombing challenged Qaddafis standing as an international
terrorist, exposed and exacerbated his domestic weakness and international
isolation, and left him less willing to encourage international terrorism
openly. Most significantly, it did all this without producing a new cycle
of terrorism against Americans, thereby dispelling a myth widely held
in the West disparaging the value of military force against terrorism.
Case Two: Iraq, 1993
The Persian Gulf War left unresolved a number of important differences
between the United States and Iraq. Iraq viewed the United States as responsible
for the death and destruction inflicted by the coalition in 1991. Saddam
Hussein, who remained in power, nursed a great personal hatred for the
country that led the coalition that had just defeated him in battle. In
turn, the United States viewed Hussein as an irrational despot who threatened
the security of the entire Gulf region, and it argued in the United Nations
for the maintenance of economic sanctions, a no-fly zone, and a rigorous
weapons inspection regime. All these were viewed by Iraq as primarily
U.S. initiatives, further deteriorating relations between the two nations.
Within this context the United States and
its newly elected president, Bill Clinton, were again faced with the question
of how to respond to terrorism. In May 1993, just months after Clinton
had assumed office, reports began to surface that Iraqi terrorists had
plotted to assassinate former president George Bush. The Kuwait government
arrested sixteen individuals, including eleven Iraqi nationals, on charges
that they had conspired to assassinate Bush with a car bomb during his
visit to Kuwait City on 14 April 1993. The Kuwaitis also seized two cars
with remote-control devices and several hundred pounds of explosives.35 The Kuwaiti government announced that at least one of the
suspects had confessed to being an officer of the Iraqi intelligence service.
There was also evidence that the bomb to have been used was of Iraqi design
The White House initially expressed caution,
declaring that direct Iraqi sponsorship had not been established and that
it would review all the evidence before deciding what action to take.
The administration immediately sent investigators from the Secret Service
and Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation.37
Almost immediately, pressure was put on the
new president to take action. Although the Kuwaiti government had foiled
the plot and Bush had never been in any real danger, many Americans perceived
the threat of violence against a former U.S. president as so egregious
as to require a swift and condign response. Several members of Congress
urged President Clinton to take military action if the Iraqi government
were found to be responsible for the assassination plot.38 It was the first serious foreign policy crisis faced by
the Clinton White House.
For the next two months, law enforcement experts examined
the evidence. The administration began to believe the allegation, on the
basis of two pieces of evidence. The first was the confessions of the
conspirators themselves. There had been suggestions that the Kuwaiti authorities
had coerced the confessions, but subsequent interviews by U.S. agencies
had reduced the administrations skepticism and strengthened the
view that Iraq had sponsored the plan. (Details of these interviews have
never been released, but U.S. sources reported at the time that more than
one of the suspects admitted to working for Iraqi intelligence and that
other members of the group had also received Iraqi government assistance.)39 Secondly, American investigators became convinced that the
design of the bomb indicated Iraqi involvement.
However, the evidence of Iraqi involvement in the assassination
attempt was far from the proof needed before opting for military retaliation.
A final decision was therefore delayed until the FBI could examine all
the evidence, interview the suspects, and provide a final assessment to
the president. Indeed, this case highlights how difficult it can be to
establish culpability in cases involving terrorism; evidence may be either
circumstantial or difficult to obtain quickly, if it is available at all.
In this case, many would later question whether the evidence had been
By late June 1993 the FBI had concluded that Iraqi intelligence had indeed
been responsible for the assassination plot. Still facing domestic pressure
to take strong action, President Clintons options were limited:
Saddam Hussein was already isolated, there were no diplomatic measures
that would punish him meaningfully, and severe economic sanctions were
already in place. Finally, although the agents who were actually to have
carried out the plot would be tried by the Kuwaiti courts, there was no
legal recourse with respect to the Iraqi leadership. Faced with the choice
between doing nothing and using force, President Clinton approved a retaliatory
cruise missile attack against the Iraqi intelligence service headquarters.
The Strike. On 27 June 1993
the destroyer USS Peterson (DD 969) in the Red Sea and the cruiser
USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) in the Arabian Gulf fired a total
of twenty-three Tomahawk cruise missiles at the headquarters, in downtown
Twenty of the missiles hit and heavily damaged the headquarters complex;
the other three missed the target and struck in the neighborhoods around
it, damaging homes and killing eight civilians.42
From a military perspective, the missile strike was highly
effective. All the major aimpoints were hit, and the headquarters building
was heavily damaged; in fact, its main wing was totally destroyed. As
Secretary of Defense Les Aspin put it, "Damage was very extensive.
There is no question that the strike was a success. . . . It is definitely
out of business when you see the photographs."43
The success of the military operation was
tempered, however, by the extent of collateral damage. Military planners
had been given direction by the civilian leadership to make the minimization
of collateral damage a priority. Now, although the collateral damage did
not approach that inflicted in Tripoli in 1986, the White House quickly
began a public-relations campaign to make the case that every reasonable
step had been taken to lessen civilian casualties. For instance, administration
officials declared that the attack had been conducted in the middle of
the night for that reason.44
On the other hand, the White House attempted to minimize its own domestic
political risks in another important way: cruise missiles, spokesmen emphasized,
had been selected for the operation specifically to ensure that there
would be no casualties to U.S. servicemen. As one Pentagon official acknowledged,
"The military chose the missile to avoid risks to U.S. pilots even
though manned bombers generally have greater accuracy."45
The day after the strike, in a gesture aimed
at winning international support, the American delegate to the United
Nations, Madeleine Albright, presented to a special session of the UN
Security Council the evidence that the United States had been legally
justified in conducting the strike.46 Albright argued that the U.S. action had been an act of
self-defense, permissible under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The Reagan
administration had also appealed to Article 51 after the Libyan raid,
although in a far less formal and public way. The decision by the Clinton
White House to present its case before the UN was a clear attempt to seize
the political high ground and preempt international criticism.
The Results. The impact of this Tomahawk strike
with respect to terrorism was less dramatic or obvious than that of the
air raid on Libya in 1986. There was near unanimous support from Americas
European allies for the missile strike.47
There was some criticism from Arab governments, but opposition quickly
evaporated. The U.S. strike generated little sympathy for Saddam Hussein.
It did not enhance his standing in the Arab world, nor did it alienate
the United States from either its European allies or the Arabs. However,
the strike cannot be said to have had much impact with respect to international
terrorism, for Iraq had not been perceived as an international terrorist
threat. The strike did not stimulate an Iraqi reprisal, but there had
never been active Iraqi terrorism against Americans. The Iraqi intelligence
service had surely been involved in violent acts, but mostly against the
Iraqi people themselves.
The American public supported the strike.
Initial polls showed 66 percent approval of the presidents decision
to use military force against Iraq, and the decision drew bipartisan support
from Congress.48 Although these poll numbers were not as strong as those
following ELDORADO CANYON, they did suggest that a majority of Americans
continued to support the notion that military force is an appropriate
response to significant acts of terrorism. In this case, the general feeling
was that the United States could not stand by and ignore an assassination
plot on a former president.
Case Three: Sudan and Afghanistan, 1998
In the 1990s a new terrorist threat to U.S. interests emerged, actions
sponsored by an Islamic extremist, Osama bin Laden. The son of a Saudi
billionaire, bin Laden had gone to Afghanistan in the 1980s to fight the
Soviets alongside the mujaheddin. Over time, bin Laden had built up a
quasi-military organization that had become militant and dedicated to
driving Western influences out of the Arab world. The group, which became
known as "al Qaida," the Base, remained in the shadows, but
its cells operated throughout the Middle East.
Although Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi
Arabia following the war in Afghanistan, he was exiled in 1991 after he
began his radical campaign against the United States. With his group of
guerrilla fighters and his considerable wealth, estimated by some at over
$300 million, bin Laden quietly began a war of terrorism against the United
Operating primarily out of the rural regions of Afghanistan and Sudan,
he provided funding, support, and training for groups willing to strike
out against the United States. He allegedly assisted terrorist groups
in buying weapons, equipment and computers, and he financed terrorist
training camps in Sudan. He was also suspected of having provided support
to the terrorists arrested in the 1993 bombing of New Yorks World
Trade Center and of funding the warlords in Somalia that battled U.S.
military troops in 1993.50
Bin Laden was different from other state-sponsored terrorists. Personally
secretive and seldom seen, he exerted a terrorist influence that was far
less public than Muammar Qaddafis. He had come to the attention
of U.S. law enforcement agencies, but the American public knew little
about him before 1998. His terrorist organization was not dependent on,
or concerned with achieving the aims of, any single state; instead, it
was driven by fundamentalist religious objectives. A former CIA official
wrote that Osama bin Ladens group,
such as it is, is unlike any other. It
has no real headquarters and no fixed address to target. It is a coalition
of like-minded warriors living in exile from their homes in Egypt, the
Sudan, Pakistan and other Islamic nations riven by religious and political
battles. The bin Laden organization is global and stateless, according
to the United States intelligence analyses, more theological than political,
driven by a millennial vision of destroying the United States, driving
all Western influences from the Arab world, abolishing the boundaries
of the Islamic nations and making them one, without borders.51
In 1996, frustrated by the continued presence of U.S. forces
in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden called for a holy war against them.52 He is suspectedalthough he has not yet been formally
charged, and the cases are still being investigatedof having supported
the 1995 bombing of a building in Riyadh used by the American military,
killing seven people, and the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Dhahran, which
killed nineteen American airmen.53
In February 1998, bin Laden issued a fatwa,
a religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill Americans. During an interview
with a London-based Arabic newspaper, bin Laden was quoted as saying,
"We had thought that the Riyadh and [Dhahran] blasts were a sufficient
signal to sensible U.S. decision-makers to avert a real battle between
the Islamic nation and U.S. forces, but it seems that they did not understand
the signal."54 He told ABC News in June 1998, "We do not differentiate
between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all
Despite these threats, Americans were unprepared
for the simultaneous bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi (Kenya)
and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) on 7 August 1998. The damage was horrific.
In Nairobi, the bomb "brought down half the embassy" and left
several square blocks of downtown Nairobi in shambles;56
in Dar es Salaam, most of the embassy building and some adjacent buildings
The loss of life was substantial; the final count, which took months to
produce, was 224 people killed in the two bombings, including twelve Americans.
More than 4,800 persons had been injured.58
The Clinton administration quickly found
evidence that bin Laden was responsible. The details of this evidence
remain closely held. At the time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General
Hugh Shelton, would announce only, "As many of you are aware, our
intelligence community has provided us with convincing information based
on a variety of intelligence sources, that Osama bin Ladens network
of terrorists was involved in the planning, the financing and the execution
of the attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."59
Secretary of Defense William Cohen would say only, "Theres
been a series of reports that we have analyzed, statements by Osama bin
Laden himself, other information coming in as recently as yesterday about
future attacks being planned against the United States. We are satisfied
there has been a convincing body of evidence that leads us to this conclusion."60
The president was soon convinced that Osama bin Laden was
responsible for the bombings and that additional terrorist acts were being
planned by his organization.61
Again, Clinton had few alternatives. Because Osama bin Laden was not a
head of state, there were no political, diplomatic, or economic recourses
available. Law enforcement agencies were already doing all they could
to find and arrest members of his organization, and those efforts would
take time. Finally, the bombings of the embassies were seen as direct
assaults on U.S. sovereign territory and as therefore requiring a strong
unilateral response. Ultimately, Clinton decided bin Ladens terrorism
was a clear threat to U.S. national interests and for the second time
in his presidency decided to use military force to counter a terrorist
The Strikes. On 20 August
1998, less than three weeks after the embassy bombings, Operation INFINITE
REACH was carried out.62 U.S. Navy surface ships
and a submarine in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea fired approximately seventy
Tomahawk cruise missiles against terrorist targets in Khartoum and Khost
The administration emphasized operational security, with the result that
unlike previous cases, few details of the operation or about its outcome
have been released.
It is known, however, that the missiles arrived
over targets in both countries nearly simultaneously. In Afghanistan,
they damaged a series of buildings in four different complexes that constituted
a terrorist training camp and bin Ladens main operational base.
Reports in the Pakistani press claimed that the camp "had been leveled";64
the Taliban regime in Afghanistan reported that twenty-one people had
been killed and an additional thirty injured.65 Months later, in January 1999, defense officials would release
satellite reconnaissance photos showing massive damage.
The conventional wisdom had been that military action
against Libya would only lead to further terrorism in reprisal.
What actually happened provides little support to that theory.
The camp, they said, was a known terrorist area and far from
any civilian population center; in fact, the national security adviser,
Sandy Berger, was to explain that the attack had been conducted on 20
August precisely because intelligence sources had predicted a meeting
of bin Laden and several of his key deputies at the camp that day. Therefore,
all reported deaths and injuries were considered casualties to terrorists
and not collateral; "Collateral damage was just not an issue in Afghanistan."66
Reports later emerged that bin Laden had indeed been at the camp at the
time of the attack, although he was not injured. One official stated,
"The Tomahawks wiped out the guards, drivers, vehicles and electrical
and water supplies. Bin Laden was there, but he was underground along
with others in the terrorist leadership. The attack left him with a ringing
head, and he had to walk to the nearest highway to make his way out."67
American officials believed about a hundred "terrorists in training"
had been killed and that at least one of bin Ladens top lieutenants
was among the dead.68
Their assessment as of January 1999 was that "the capability to sustain
terrorist operations from these facilities for the near term [had been]
In Sudan, the missiles struck a pharmaceutical
factory, known as El Shifa, in downtown Khartoum. Sudans state-run
television broadcast images immediately after the raid indicating that
the plant had been leveled; it reported that ten people had been injured
but that there had been no deaths.70 One missile had apparently struck a nearby candy factory,
causing light damage.71
In the aftermath of the raid, White House
officials justified the attack on the factory in Khartoum by claims it
had been a secret chemical-weapons factory financed by bin Laden.72 In support they cited
soil samples taken from the plant indicating the presence of Empta, a
"precursor" substance used in the production of the nerve gas
VX.73 However, in the weeks
after the strike many began to question the adequacy of the administrations
evidence. Several critics argued that the evidence both that bin Laden
had been associated with the plant and that it had been producing chemical
weapons was circumstantial at best.74
Seymour Hersh, a well known investigative reporter and author, asserted
that the administrations evidence had not justified the attack on
the Sudanese plant, that the decision had been a mistake, "a by-product
of the secrecy that marked all the White Houses planning for the
Tomahawk raidsa secrecy that prevented decision makers from knowing
everything they needed to know."75
The Sudanese government asked the United
Nations for an independent investigation to prove or disprove the allegations
that the factory had been involved in chemical weapons. Even former president
Jimmy Carter would call for an independent technical investigation of
the evidence.76 However, administration officials continued to argue, without
releasing details, that the evidence had justified the raid, and they
were able to convince the UN Security Council to shelve discussion of
an independent investigation.77
The calls upon the Clinton administration to make public its evidence
on the Sudanese factory exemplifies one of the difficulties with using
military force against terrorism. On one hand, the White House wished
to convince the American people and U.S. allies of the legality and legitimacy
of the raids; on the other hand, releasing too much information could
compromise operational security or intelligence sources. Bin Laden and
his group remained a threat, and it was important not to disclose how
the United States could detect and thwart their plans for future terrorist
The Results. It is not possible, so soon after the event,
to assess the long-term effects of the August 1998 strikes on Osama bin
Ladens terrorism. Nevertheless, the U.S. strikes do appear to have
put bin Ladens terrorist organization on the defensive. Instead
of focusing resources and attention on planning or executing new attacks,
the group must have had to step back and regroup. The United States had
threatened it in a new and substantial way. The strikes may not have ended
bin Ladens terrorist operations, but they appear to have limited
his ability to carry out whatever attacks were being planned to follow
the embassy bombings.
A second result of the strikes was in the
area of international law enforcement. Just as new cooperation on the
diplomatic and economic fronts emerged following the strikes against Qaddafi
in 1986, the attacks on bin Laden seem to have generated a higher level
of international collaboration against terrorism. For example, within
days of the strikes, foreign law enforcement organizations, with support
from U.S. agencies, arrested bombing suspects in Pakistan, Kenya, and
Tanzania.78 In the weeks that followed, several terrorists, including
a number of key figures in the bin Laden network, were arrested in Great
Britain, Germany, and across Africa.79 Most importantly, this new international effort apparently
prevented bombings that bin Laden operatives had planned against the U.S.
embassies in Tirana, Albania, and in Kampala, Uganda.80 These arrests substantiated the administrations claims
at the time of the strikes that the group had been planning additional
terrorist attacks against American targets. "The FBI has enjoyed
unprecedented cooperation from authorities in Kenya, Tanzania and more
than a dozen other countries that have assisted in the probe, a sharp
contrast from some of its previous investigations of terrorism on foreign
The reasons for this new vigor and cooperation are not clear, but perhaps
the strikes, by exposing bin Ladens vulnerability, encouraged other
nations to overcome the fear of reprisal and to take strong action against
bin Ladens organization. In any case, the cruise missile attacks
demonstrated that the United States was serious; support, action, and
cooperation that had not previously existed within the international law-enforcement
community soon followed. Its importance, however, must not be overstated.
The missile strikes could only be an opening salvo against bin Laden;
it is up to law enforcement to continue the war.
The new collaboration has kept bin Ladens group on
the run. By January 1999 international law enforcement efforts had led
to arrests of Islamic extremists linked to bin Laden and, perhaps more
importantly, to trials against these operatives in eleven countries.82 As the campaign against bin Laden continues, senior U.S.
officials suggest, the worldwide effort has stopped at least seven bombing
attempts by the bin Laden groupagainst an air base in Saudi Arabia
and the U.S. embassies in Albania, Azerbaijan, the Côte dIvoire,
Tajikistan, Uganda, and Uruguay.83
Cooperation between Indian officials and the FBI has led to arrests of
a seven-member cell, believed to be funded by bin Laden, that was planning
to bomb the U.S. embassy in New Delhi and two consulates elsewhere in
In each of the three cases, military force against terrorism
either the last resort or the only useful choice.
The strikes generally received support from the American
public. Over 75 percent of the public approved of the attack at the time,
and President Clintons job-approval rating rose to 65 percent.85 A few Republican members of Congress questioned the timing
of the strikes, suggesting that they may have been used as a distraction
from the presidents domestic troubles; overall, however, Clinton
received bipartisan support as having taken strong action against terrorism.86 A majority of Americans still supported military force as
an appropriate response to terrorism. The El Shifa controversy that followed
did not debate the legitimacy of using military force against terrorism
but simply whether that specific factory had been an appropriate target.
Bin Ladens involvement in the embassy bombings has
never been questioned. In November 1998, a federal grand jury in New York
issued a 238-count indictment against him for acts of terrorism.87 Soon after, the U.S. State Department offered a reward of
up to five million dollars for bin Ladens capture.88
The Tomahawk strikes received strong support from Europe.
Most Western European countries, including Great Britain, Germany, France,
Spain and Austria, issued statements upholding the right of the United
States to defend itself against terrorism.89
Russia, which had strongly criticized the use of U.S. military force against
terrorism in the past, now sent confused and mixed signals. President
Boris Yeltsin criticized the attacks publicly, but a spokesman later downplayed
his remarks. Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko called the attacks unacceptable
but added that "international acts of terrorism cannot go unpunished."90
In Kabul, protesters converged on the American
embassy, and large street demonstrations were held in Khartoum.91Angry
protests were voiced in Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. In contrast,
most Arab governments remained "silent or equivocal about their views
on the missile strikes."92 What public condemnation there was quickly faded. By October,
less than two months after the strike, the Sudanese government had dropped
calls for an investigation into the bombings and had initiated high-level
talks with Washington in hopes of improving relations.93 In February 1999, American representatives met with the
Taliban to discuss bin Ladens status in Afghanistan; the Taliban
was not willing to extradite bin Laden, but it restricted his access to
communications and banned him from making public statements while in Afghanistan.94 It would seem, therefore, that the military response did
not damage American standing in the international community or substantially
change relations with the Arab world or Central Asia.
Finally, there is the question of whether
the Tomahawk strikes increased or decreased bin Ladens terrorist
activity. There were a few minor incidents immediately following the strike.
For instance, an Italian army officer and a French political-affairs officer
working for the United Nations were attacked in Kabul. The Italian was
killed and the Frenchman wounded in what appeared to be an act of retaliation.95
A few days later, a group calling itself "Muslims against Global
Oppression" claimed responsibility for bombing the Planet Hollywood
Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, killing one woman and injuring
twenty-four other people. The group said it had carried out the bombing
to avenge the U.S. missile strikes.96 Neither of these attacks may have been associated with the
bin Laden group, and since then there have been no terrorist acts attributed
to it. It would be naive to assume that the strikes put bin Laden out
of business; in fact, as recently as December 1998 U.S. intelligence agents
received indications that he was planning new terrorist attacks against
American interests.97 Despite such periodic warnings, however, as of early 2000
there have been no new terrorist acts attributable to bin Laden. It would
appear that for the short term, at least, the missile attacks and law
enforcement have put bin Laden on the defensive without igniting a new
cycle of terrorism.
A Powerful Tool
A study that does not include analyses of cases in which the United States
did not respond to terrorism with force can offer no definitive
conclusions regarding its efficacy. However, these cases constitute evidence
that in some circumstances the use of force can provide the United States
with leverage in the war on terrorism and support its national interests,
and that it does so in several ways. First, such strikes limit a terrorists
power and influence. In two of our case studies, military attacks left
the terrorist isolated and on the defensive (Saddam Hussein was already
in that condition). The physical damage itself leaves the targeted group
cut off from its resources and distracted from new acts of terrorism;
also, military strikes tend to erode the terrorists standing by
exposing him as vulnerable. The evidence is that they tend at least to
curtail the actions of the targeted group, for the short term at any rate.
Second, and relatedly, a military counterterrorism response can underscore
the fact that under certain conditions the United States is willing to
take strong action. Force is not a wise or practical choice against every
terrorist threat, but it can be a powerful tool when a terrorist threat
seems about to become unmanageable. In such cases, not taking strong
action can have devastating ramifications, leaving terrorists with the
notion that violence and intimidation are effective.
Third, military force encourages international antiterrorism measures
in nonmilitary areas, such as diplomatic and economic sanctions and law
enforcement. Whether strikes expose the weakness of the terrorist and
thereby reduce fear, or create a "vacuum effect" that draws
other nations into the cooperative effort, or even because allies fear
that failure to cooperate will result in further U.S. military action,
these cases show that international cooperation can result and that such
cooperation can limit terrorism.
Finally, it appears, perhaps surprisingly, that the use of force against
terrorists does not result in a cycle of new violence. A common argument
against the option of military force, then, is invalid. While there is
nothing to suggest that military strikes have forced Muammar Qaddafi,
Saddam Hussein, or Osama bin Laden to abandon terrorism, the attacks provided
the United States some leverage without waves of reprisals.
An argument against the use of force as an option to limit terrorism
is that it is counterproductive in a strategic sense, alienating allies
and eroding U.S. credibility. In this view, the use of force creates an
image of the United States as a "cowboy," much more willing
to employ the military than diplomacy to resolve differences, and this
image damages the nations standing as a superpower. Indeed, the
air strikes on Libya in 1986 certainly created tension between the United
States and Europe. Once it became clear that there would be no immediate
reprisal from Qaddafi against Europe, however, criticism quickly faded;
in 1993 and 1998 there was overwhelming European support for the strong
U.S. action. Similarly, the lack of a strong condemnation from Arab capitals
following U.S. strikes in both 1993 and 1998 implied tacit approval. Ironically,
not even relations with Sudan and the Taliban regime were permanently
damaged following the 1998 strikes. The cases suggest that, under certain
circumstances, resorting to military force may actually enhance U.S. leadership
in the international war against terrorism.
Still, it is critical to recognize that if the United States intends
to use military force to modify the behavior of a terrorist group or a
state sponsoring it, the group or state must have something to lose. It
is in part for this reason that the ability of military force to modify
the behavior of a terrorist group, with little targetable infrastructure,
is transitory; military force cannot stop terrorism. In contrast, states
do have something to lose from military retaliation; not surprisingly,
the case studies provide evidence that military force can strike directly
at the state sponsorship of terrorism. Without such sponsorship, terrorist
groups become less effective.
In each of the three cases, military force against terrorism was either
the last resort or the only useful choice. But when employed in the proper
context, with due precautions and limitations, and under the right conditions,
military force can limit the influence of the terrorist. Military force
can demonstrate U.S. resolve to punish those who engage in terrorism;
it can keep the terrorist isolated and on the defensive; it can support
antiterrorism action in other areas; and it can pressure states from sponsoring
terrorism. It can do all this without making the violence worse than it
was before. The use of military force can contribute to the containment
of terrorism and support U.S. national interests. It is not without risk,
and it is not appropriate for every terrorist threat, but given the right
situation and the proper conditions, military force can provide a powerful
option. The war on terrorism continues, and the United States will need
every resource and option it has.
1. Brian L. Davis, Qaddafi, Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S.
Attack on Libya (New York: Praeger, 1990), p. 12.
2. Ibid., pp. 113.
3. Ibid., pp. 6770.
4. Ibid., p. 71.
5. David C. Martin and John Walcott, Best Laid Plans: The Inside Story
of Americas War on Terrorism (New York: Touchstone Books, 1988),
6. Davis, p. 78.
7. Ibid., p. 80; and Martin and Walcott, p. 268.
8. Robert Kupperman and Jeff Kamen, Final Warning (New York: Doubleday,
1989), p. 129; and Geoffrey M. Levitt, Democracies against Terror
(New York: Praeger, 1988), p. 73.
9. Davis, p. 105.
10. Martin and Walcott, p. xx.
11. Davis, p. 116.
12. Tim Zimmerman, "Coercive Diplomacy and Libya," in The
Limits of Coercive Diplomacy, ed. Alexander L. George and William
E. Simons (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1994), p. 213.
13. Robert E. Venkus, Raid on Qaddafi (New York: St. Martins
Press, 1992), p. 89.
14. Davis, pp. 1378.
15. For the F-111s, Venkus, p. 2.
16. Martin and Walcott, p. 309.
17. Venkus, p. 146. Colonel Venkus had been the deputy commander
of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing.
18. Davis, p. 138.
19. Martin and Walcott, p. 311.
20. Ibid., p. 310; and Davis, pp. 13943.
21. Davis, p. 140; and Martin and Walcott, p. 310.
22. Davis, pp. 1412.
23. Venkus, p. 153.
24. Neil C. Livingstone, "The Raid on Libya and the Use of Force
in Combating Terrorism," in Beyond the Iran-Contra Crisis,
ed. Neil C. Livingstone and Terrell E. Arnold (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington
Books, 1988), p. 78; and Venkus, p. 156.
25. Kupperman and Kamen, p. 143; and Brent J. Wilson, "The
United States Response to International Terrorism," in The Deadly
Sin of Terrorism, ed. David A. Charters (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood
Press, 1994), p. 192.
26. Zimmerman, p. 216.
27. Davis, p. 161.
28. Alexander L. George, Forceful Persuasion (Washington, D.C.:
U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 1991), pp. 578; and Zimmerman,
29. Davis, p. 145.
30. Ibid., pp. 1456.
31. Zimmerman, p. 217.
32. U.S. State Dept., Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1987 (Washington,
D.C.: Office of the Secretary of State, August 1987), p. 36.
33. Walter Enders and Todd Sandler, "The Effectiveness of Antiterrorism
Policies: A Vector-Autoregression-Intervention Analysis," American
Political Science Review, December 1993, pp. 8359. For
contrary empirical analyses, see U.S. State Dept., Patterns of Global
Terrorism: 1987, p. 36; Martin and Walcott, p. 314; Livingstone,
p. 74; and Zimmerman, p. 217.
34. Davis, p. 169.
35. Douglas Jehl, "U.S. Convinced Iraqi Saboteurs Plotted to Kill
Bush," New York Times, 8 May 1993, p. A5.
36. Douglas Jehl, "U.S. Cites Evidence in a Plot on Bush,"
New York Times, 9 May 1993.
37. Jehl, "U.S. Convinced Iraqi Saboteurs Plotted to Kill Bush."
38. Stephen Labaton, "Congressmen Urge Action If Iraq Hatched Plot
to Assassinate Bush," New York Times, 10 May 1993.
39. Douglas Jehl, "Iraqi Tells F.B.I. He Led Attempt to Kill Bush,
U.S. Officials Say," New York Times, 20 May 1993.
40. See, for example, Seymour M. Hersh, "A Case Not Closed,"
New Yorker, 1 November 1993, pp. 8092.
41. Gwen Ifill, "U.S. Fires Missiles at Baghdad, Citing April Plot
to Kill Bush," New York Times, 27 June 1993; and David Von
Drehle and Jeffrey Smith, "U.S. Strikes Iraq for Plot to Kill Bush,"
Washington Post, 27 June 1993.
42. Norman Kempster and Melissa Healy, "Clinton Calls Iraq Strike
a Success," Los Angeles Times, 28 June 1993.
44. Drehle and Smith.
45. Kempster and Healy.
46. Richard Bernstein, "U.S. Presents Evidence to U.N. Justifying
Its Missile Attack on Iraq," New York Times, 28 June 1993.
47. Craig Whitney, "European Allies Are Giving Strong Backing to
U.S. Raid," New York Times, 28 June 1993.
48. Richard Benedetto, "U.S. Blow Very Damaging; Iraq
Scoffs at Evidence of Bush Plot," USA Today, 28 June 1993.
49. Raja Mishra, "Osama bin Laden: Terrorists Rich Backer,"
Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 August 1998.
51. Milt Beardon, formerly of the Central Intelligence Agency, quoted
in Tim Weiner, "After the Attacks: The Outlook," New York
Times, 23 August 1998.
53. Benjamin Weiser, "U.S. Charges Bin Laden Suspect in Larger Plot,"
New York Times, 1 October 1998.
56. Marjorie Miller and Dean Murphy, "The U.S. Embassy Bombings,"
Los Angeles Times,
9 August 1998.
58. Associated Press, "US Embassy Bombing Death Toll Drops,"
New York Times, 8 October 1998; and Miller and Murphy.
59. "Text of Cohen, Shelton Briefing on the Strikes," USA
Today, 20 August 1998.
61. James Bennet, "U.S. Cruise Missiles Strike Sudan and Afghan
Targets Tied to Terrorist Network," New York Times, 21 August
62. Bryan Bender, "Poor U.S. Intelligence May Have Led to Sudan
Strikes," Janes Defence Weekly, 2 September 1998.
63. Steven Lee Meyers, "Attack Aimed 70 Missiles at Targets 2,500
Miles Apart," New York Times, 21 August 1998.
64. Barry Bearak, "After the Attacks: In Pakistan," New
York Times, 23 August 1998.
65. Steven Lee Meyers, "After the Attacks: The Overview," New
York Times, 22 August 1998.
66. An administration official, quoted in Richard J. Newman, "America
Fights Back," U.S. News and World Report, 31 August 1998.
67. Paul Mann, "Bin Laden Betrayed," Aviation Week and Space
Technology, 12 October 1998.
68. Cable News Network [CNN], "Moderate to Severe Damage
Seen at Suspected Bin Laden Camps," CNN Interactive, retrieved
13 January 1999 from the World Wide Web: http:/www.CNN.com.
70. Meyers, "After the Attacks."
71. Russell Watson and John Barry, "Our Target Was Terror,"
Newsweek, 31 August 1998.
72. Tim Weiner and James Risen, "Decision to Strike Factory in Sudan
Based on Surmise," New York Times, 21 September 1998.
73. Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers, "Flaws in U.S. Account Raise
Questions on Strike in Sudan," New York Times, 29 August 1998.
74. Weiner and Risen; Weiner and Myers; Bender; and Colum Lynch, "Allied
Doubts Grow about the U.S. Strike on Sudanese Plant," Boston Globe,
24 September 1998.
75. Seymour Hersh, "The Missiles of August," New Yorker,
12 October 1998, p. 35.
76. "Carter Urges Inquiry into U.S. Raid on Sudan," New
York Times, 18 September 1998.
78. Brian Duffy and Richard J. Newman, "The Price of Payback,"
U.S. News and World Report, 7 September 1998; Benjamin Weiser, "Two
Suspects Linked by U.S. to Terror Case," New York Times, 18
September 1998; Rodrique Ngowi, "2 Charged with Murder in Tanzania,"
Washington Post, 22 September 1998; and Michael Grunwald and Vernon
Loeb, "U.S. Is Unraveling Bin Laden Network," Washington
Post, 20 September 1998.
79. William Drozdiak, "Bin Laden Aide Denies Link to Embassy Bombings,"
Washington Post, 21 September 1998; and James Risen, "U.S.
Directs International Drive on Bin Laden Networks," New York Times,
25 September 1998.
80. James Risen, "U.S. Attacks Based on Strong Evidence against
Bin Laden Group," New York Times, 21 August 1998; and Michael
Grunwald, "CIA Thwarted Bomb Plot against Embassy in Uganda,"
Washington Post, 25 September 1998.
81. Grunwald and Loeb.
82. Vernon Loeb, "Has the U.S. Blunted Bin Laden?" Washington
Post, 17 February 1999.
83. Associated Press, "Report: 7 Bin Laden Attacks Stopped,"
New York Times, 24 February 1999.
85. "U.S. Strikes Back/Poll: U.S. Attacks Justified," Newsday,
24 August 1998.
87. Benjamin Weiser, "Saudi Is Indicted in Bomb Attacks on U.S.
Embassies," New York Times, 5 November 1998.
88. Bill Gertz, "Official Certain of Terrorists Capture,"
Washington Times, 6 November 1998.
89. Edmund L. Andrews, "Backing in Europe," New York Times,
22 August 1998.
90. Michael Wines, "After the Attacks: The ReactionU.S. Raids
Provoke Fury in Muslim World," New York Times, 22 August 1998.
91. Meyers, "After the Attacks."
92. Jehl, "After the Attacks: The Reaction."
93. Colum Lynch, "Sudan Working for Better Ties with U.S.,"
Boston Globe, 7 October 1998.
94. Associated Press, "Restrictions Placed on Bin Laden," New
York Times, 12 February 1999.
95. Reuters, "After the Attacks: In Afghanistan," New York
Times, 23 August 1998.
96. Chris Erasmus, "Bomb Explodes in S. Africa Restaurant; Group
Says Blast Avenges U.S. Strikes," USA Today, 26 August 1998.
97. Steven Lee Myers, "U.S. Warns Terrorism against Americans May
Be Imminent in Mideast," New York Times, 16 December 1998.
War College Review