Finally, An Obama Legacy Worth Celebrating

Hellfire R9X 'ninja' missile might be the Dem's most lasting achievement

• June 26, 2020 3:00 pm


Another terrorist died in Syria this month on President Donald J. Trump's order. Khaled al-Aruri, a journeyman jihadist and de facto leader of a local al Qaeda affiliate, was killed in a U.S. special operations drone strike on June 14.

The terrorist was dispatched by a projectile that "combines medieval brutality with cutting-edge technology," according to a New York Times report. That's right, it was none other than the 2019 Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year, the Hellfire R9X "ninja" missile.

The R9X, which is armed with six extendable sword-like blades in lieu of an exploding warhead, has been promoting freedom and American military supremacy throughout the world since 2017 by killing terrorists with ruthless precision. And while President Trump deserves ample credit for authorizing its use, it was President Barack Obama who oversaw the missile's development in an effort to reduce civilian casualties.

Thanks, Obama. Even anti-freedom Democrats deserve kudos for accidentally inventing an advanced instrument of warfare. This rare instance of an Obama legacy that cannot (and should not) be erased by President Trump deserves recognition and applause.

The R9X has been used in about a half-dozen instances since Trump took office, including the successful January 2019 evisceration of Jamal al-Badawi, the al Qaeda terrorist behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Here's how the Times described al-Aruri's (brief) introduction to the missile:

Instead of exploding, it hurled about 100 pounds of metal through the top of Mr. al-Aruri’s car. If the high-velocity projectile did not kill him, the missile’s other feature almost certainly did: six long blades tucked inside, which deployed seconds before impact to slice up anything in its path.

The R9X is likely to remain the weapon of choice for U.S. special forces seeking to eliminate a lone terrorist leader with civilians nearby. Because Trump has promptly undone so many key elements of Obama's presidential legacy—such as the Iran nuclear agreement, the Paris Climate Accords, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership—the R9X may very well endure as the Democrat's most lasting achievement.