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17 January 2013


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At least the last three hostage rescue operations the French ran have failed. The U.S. is also not always successful in its rescue attempts. The Algerians at least tried and a lot of the hostages seem to have been freed.

Algeria sits on a LOT of oil and gas. It is certainly reasonably paranoid about some outsider schemes to get their hands on that. It had warned against the attack on Libya and the one on Mali because it feared the blowback. As this blowback is now coming it is, in my view, justified to react to that as it sees fit.

robt willmann

It appears as if the hostage situation at the gas plant in Algeria is over. This looks like what some have described as the "Russian approach" to a hostage situation: crash in with guns blazing at the captors, and if the hostages get killed, well, that is just too bad for the hostages and their families.


As I left Houston yesterday (Friday) evening, I heard that one American whose family is in Katy, on the edge of Houston, had died; there was speculation that he had died of a heart attack at the time of Algeria's first assault on the plant.


Another Houston-area hostage was there and still alive as of yesterday evening, but apparently not anymore as the second Algerian assault today resulted in his and the remaining hostages' deaths.


Another issue in the scorched earth approach to a hostage situation is that there are no captors left alive to interrogate to gain new information.


What did all these people expect the Algerian government to do, pay ransom? There have been travel warnings in place regarding Algeria for some time. Hopefully these Americans working there actually understood the risk.

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