Controversy Over Al-Qaeda Leader’s Capture Traces Back to Trojan War
Source Newsroom: Cornell University
Barry Strauss, military history expert and professor of history at Cornell University, discusses the controversy surrounding the abduction of an Al-Qaeda leader on Libyan soil by U.S. special operations forces – and its historical precedents.
“The capture of Al-Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi by American commandos in Tripoli is dramatic but controversial. The Libyan government and others have complained about foreign soldiers entering their territory and carrying out an abduction. Such controversy is not surprising, as a look at history shows.
“Commando raids are as old as the Trojan War. Odysseus and another Greek captain slipped into the enemy camp at night, slit the commander's throat as he slept and escaped with his famous horses. It was daring but dishonorable since the Greeks preferred face-to-face confrontations on the battlefield in the light of day. But wars are not won by playing by the rules. Think of the Trojan Horse.”