Yesterday's Special Forces strike on a car bearing a top al Qaeda operative in Somalia appears to have been a slam dunk. Target killed, body retrieved for positive identification (along with the possibly quite substantial intelligence to be gained from his kit and co-decedents), no casualties, and no collateral damage.
It is important to maintain a low-profile but steady tempo of operations in this theater. AQ has a substantial presence, linked with the corrupt rubble of warlords and wan shadows of 'government,' almost certainly partaking to a non-trivial degree of pirates' booty. Full-scale attacks on those pirates' shore facilities would be geopolitically problematic to say the least. However, targeting a distributed set of nodes in their network, along with more effective maritime countermeasures could take us a long way. Stemming the spread of AQ's influence abroad, while making life difficult for those who would disrupt the flow of international trade (which can ill-afford the added stress), and thus enforcing global rule sets in the very darkest heart of the Gap is what I would call a win-win-win.
As for the obligatory scold from al-Reuters about the threat of reprisals for this strike...what can I say. They don't like it when you shoot at them. It gets in the way of their carefully crafted plans for killing people and taking their stuff.
Not insubstantial props are owed to President Obama for signing the Executive Order which greenlit this mission. I really would like nothing more than to see much more of this sort of seriousness on matters of security from him.