Aside from the facts about the cause of the event, this is another reminder of the limits of US power–especially in a region that is becoming more involved to key US interests:
The assault, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, has already exposed shortcomings in the Obama administration’s ability to secure diplomatic missions and act on intelligence warnings. But this previously undisclosed episode, described by several American officials, points to a limitation in the capabilities of the American military command responsible for a large swath of countries swept up in the Arab Spring.
At the heart of the issue is the Africa Command, established in 2007, well before the Arab Spring uprisings and before an affiliate of Al Qaeda became a major regional threat. It did not have on hand what every other regional combatant command has: its own force able to respond rapidly to emergencies — a Commanders’ In-Extremis Force, or C.I.F.