The last few weeks were not good ones for American diplomatic and military forces in the Islamic world. First, the 9/11 attack in Benghazi killed Ambassador Stevens and his tiny security detail. Christopher Stevens knew he was on the al Qaida hit list, he knew it was the anniversary of the World Trade Center attack, and he knew his security was completely inadequate. All of this Mr. Stevens detailed in his diary, which was found at the "safe house" four days after the murders by a CNN crew. This latter fact is astonishing in itself, because it reveals that no U.S. forces had swept the crime scene to insure that diplomatic files were secure a full four days after the killings!
The U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton seems to be extraordinarily incompetent on both aspects of this tragedy--first someone pooh-poohed the danger to the Ambassador, and then they even failed to do a common-sense security clean up of the scene (which is something normal ground commanders would do anyhow if they were really investigating an incident.) All during this period the State Department and the Obama administration were hard selling the talking point that the whole tragedy was just a demonstration against an anti-Islamic movie that randomly went out of control.
The next week an even more telling piece of military incompetence flared up in Afghanistan. American news media did promptly report that two American soldiers were killed in a major Taliban attack on Camp Bastion (which is adjoined to the huge Camp Leatherneck in Helmland Province.) The American public is so used to these reports that this does not come across as Big News and the Camp Bastion attack was not reported all that urgently either.
However, there was a very significant aspect of the attack on the Camp Bastion air base. Six U.S. Marine Av8B Harrier jump jets were completely destroyed in their hangars and another two were badly damaged. This level of destruction of air power assets is the largest single disaster suffered in one day since Vietnam. These are expensive airplanes and the loss is a major blow to Marine air power in the entire world.
Background to the successful Taliban raid is this: over 60% of American combat deaths in the Afghan war since it began have taken place since Jan., 2009. Over 80% of the combat casualties have occured in that same period, which coincides with the Obama administration. Despite a fairly successful surge, it seems that the implementation of extremely unwieldy rules of engagement have handicapped our forces to an extent that is causing increased casualties and maybe more complete military disasters.