Here’s what to expect from AEI analysts in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death:
—What does it mean for al Qaeda? Teaser: Something, but not as much as we’d like to believe. Sure, Zawahiri is lacking in the charisma department, but Awlaki offers some real opportunities if charisma is really what AQ needs. And always remember, the ideology and the movement remain diverse and strong. As people keep telling us, this problem doesn’t have a military solution.
—What does it mean for Afghanistan? Teaser: Rumors have been growing that President Obama actually wants to draw down more than just a little this summer, and that Petraeus’s departure and Panetta’s arrival at DoD will enable just that. Expect admirers of the counterterrorism option to start pushing that harder.
—What about Pakistan? Looks like those billions didn’t buy much. Can anything be done about Pakistan’s perfidy?
—What about Gitmo, interrogation, and the future of the war on terror without it? Looks like Bush’s tactics have been vindicated. We wouldn’t have dead bin Laden without live Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the information he, er, coughed up. But what about the next guy?
—What are the tactical and operational questions? Beyond the intel, how’d we get him? What did it take? And could we have done this if we weren’t in Afghanistan in substantial numbers?