Bin Laden’s death: And what it means for the war on terror
Well Obama has officialy sealed re-lection even before the campaings started. conveniently as his credibility was starting to be called into question he pulls of another amazing acheivement. No wonder he was so somber at the correspondents diner. I am sure that on the cover of time magazine this week we will see Bin Laden’s face with a red X across it. Similar to the editions that were published after the death of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. I loved how he used the word “I” throughout his statement to indicate the level of his involvemet. This moment is a clear kick in the nuts for Republicans that were questioning Obama’s decisiveness on issues in the region. Moreover I am sure a few staffers are going to get fired this week as Donald Trump starts coming to terms with the fact that his presidential ambitions are going to have to hit the pause botton.
Although speculation has been rife around the verification of Bin Laden’s body it is almost a ceratinty that Obama would not announce Bin Laden dead unless it was true. And besides we need to give the conspirators some room to exercise their creativity. But what does Bin Laden’s death really mean for the war on terror and will it have any significant impact on American policy in the middle east? The biggest and most imediate issue around the capture is the fact that Bin Laden was found in Pakistan. Regardless of when over the last ten years he might have made his way across the border from Afghanistan, he was still found in Pakistan.
Surely this is a blow for relations bewteen Washington and Islamabad that are already strained. Over the years there has been a significant and concistent pattern of many Al Qaeda leaders being found in Pakistan. But that for the most part has been with the help and cooporation of Pakistani intelligence aganecies. The US has made no secret of the fact that in this particular instance no assitance from Pakisatan intelligence forces was provided or required. A clear indication that officials in Obama’s White House are somewhat sceptial of Pakistan’s commitment to rooting out terrorism. Even India has put their hand up riatearing concerns that Pakistan is a safe haven for terrorist activity.
Another cause for concern in the aftermath of Bin Laden’s death is the imediate and long term reaction of Al Quaeda. As president Obama said in his speech America and the world at large need to be vigilant over the coming weeks. Al Queda since 9/11 has become very sophisticated from merely a guerilla movement to a fully fledged terrorist network. It was that same network that allowed Bin Laden to allude capture for so long. The hype of whether Al Qaeda is on its last knees is simply that, hype.
It is worth noting that becasue of his confinment over the last ten years Bin Laden has been playing a more symbolic and ideological role. No longer highly active in the day to day operations of the group. He was the key to the group’s propaganda mechine. Often his speeches have been known to inspire young men and women to take up arms. But his death and actions taken thereafter could be very bad news for many who are hoping for an end to the situation in the Middle East. it could actually inspire more and more extremists to take up arms in a bid to defend their values. And that could prove vital for the future of international security for many years to come. We cannot underestimate the psycological impact Bin Laden’s death will have on Al Qaeda and its simpathisers. Whether that impact results in a more dettered and less active organisation or perhaps a renewd push to avenge Bin Laden’s death remains to be scene