Time to declare victory:  al Qaeda is defeated (Opinion)
June 27th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Time to declare victory: al Qaeda is defeated (Opinion)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of opinion articles about national security by participants in the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event which is taking place from July 25-28 in Aspen, Colorado.

By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst

To end World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin demanded an unconditional surrender from the Nazis.  But there will be no such surrender from al Qaeda. The group is not a state that is capable of entering into such an agreement, even if it wanted to do so, which seems highly unlikely.

So we are left with a choice:  We can continue fighting al Qaeda indefinitely and remain in a permanent state of quasi-war, as has already been the case for more than a decade now.

Or we can declare victory against the group and move on to focus on the essential challenges now facing America, notably the country's sputtering economy, but also containing a rising China, managing the rogue regime in North Korea, continuing to delay Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, and - to the extent feasible - helping to direct the maturation of the Arab Spring.

The case for declaring victory over al Qaeda takes two forms.  First, there are al Qaeda's own myriad weaknesses that make the group's offensive capabilities rather puny. Second, there is the vast increase in the capacity of the U.S. national security industrial complex since 9/11, which makes America's defenses quite strong.

Consider some of al Qaeda's obvious weaknesses:

– According to reliable press reports, CIA drones have killed 28 al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and Yemen since U.S. President Barack Obama took office. During the George W. Bush administration, roughly a dozen leaders of the group were also killed in drone strikes.

– As a result, al Qaeda has one senior leader left, Ayman al-Zawahiri, a black hole of charisma who took over the group after the death of Osama bin Laden. He inherited the Blockbuster Video of global jihad and has done nothing to resuscitate it. (Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian military commander of the group, who might make a more effective leader of al Qaeda, seems to have gone to ground.)

– Al Qaeda hasn't conducted a successful attack in the West since the bombings on London's transportation system seven years ago that killed 52 commuters. And the terrorist group, of course, hasn't carried out an attack in the States since 9/11.

– Even terrorists influenced by al Qaeda-like ideas have only killed 17 people in the United States since 9/11.  About the same number of Americans are killed every year by dogs. In other words, in the United States during the past decade, dogs have been around ten times more deadly than jihadist terrorists.

– Polling data from across the Muslim world in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, and Turkey indicate that support for al Qaeda has plummeted.

– Al Qaeda played no role in the Arab Spring and hasn't been able to exploit in any meaningful way the most significant development in the Middle East since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

– Bin Laden's death was greeted by only minor protests in the Muslim world.

At the same time that al Qaeda has weakened considerably, the United States has built up formidable defenses against the terrorist group and its allies.

– On 9/11, there were 16 people on the "no fly" list. Now there are more than 20,000.

– In 2001, there were just a handful of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), "fusion centers" where multiple law enforcement agencies work together to chase down leads to build terrorism cases. Now there are more than one hundred JTTFs across the country.

– A decade ago, the National Counterterrorism Center, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) didn't exist.  All of these new institutions make it much harder for terrorists to operate in the United States.

– Before 9/11, Special Operations Forces were rarely deployed against al Qaeda and allied groups.  Now they perform some dozen operations every day in Afghanistan, as well as many other missions in countries such as Yemen and Somalia.

– At the beginning of the 21st century, the American public didn't comprehend the threat posed by jihadist terrorists.  That changed dramatically after the attacks on New York and Washington.  In December 2001, it was passengers on his plane who disabled the "shoe bomber," Richard Reid.  Similarly, eight years later it was his fellow passengers who tackled Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "underwear bomber."  And the following year it was a street vendor who spotted a suspicious SUV parked in Times Square that contained a bomb.

– Before 9/11 the CIA and the FBI barely communicated about their respective investigations of terrorist groups. Now they work together quite closely.

Some may counter that while "al Qaeda central" is indeed on the ropes in Pakistan, regional affiliates of al Qaeda in countries such as Yemen and Somalia continue to pose a real threat, as do terrorist groups inspired by bin Laden's ideas, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan.

Certainly, since 2009 the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has attempted to bring down American airliners and cargo planes flying to the United States with hard-to-detect bombs, but those plots all failed, and once the talented bomb-maker behind them is captured or killed the threat to the United States from AQAP will likely recede.

Meanwhile, al Qaeda's Somali affiliate has never targeted the United States, nor has Boko Haram or Lashkar-e-Taiba. (Lashkar did attack an American-Jewish community center in Mumbai in 2008, but since then it has not attacked a U.S. target anywhere.)

It is hard for any American politician to say definitively that al Qaeda is defeated because the political costs of a subsequent, even relatively small, successful attack against the United States attributable to al Qaeda or an allied group would be very high.  And since 9/11, both al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban have tried to launch attacks in Manhattan that could have killed dozens if they hadn't been averted.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration is going about as far as it can go to underline the fact that the threat from al Qaeda is essentially over.  A year ago, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta predicted: "We're within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda."  And on the first anniversary of bin Laden's death, Obama similarly observed: "The goal that I set - to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild - is now within our reach."

To win World War II, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin did not feel it necessary to kill every Nazi. We should not impose a higher standard in the battle against al Qaeda.

Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, is a director at the New America Foundation and the author of the new book, "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden - From 9/11 to Abbottabad."

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. about

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    December 15, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
  2. gigir

    5. But wasn't Jesus speaking of the secret rapture when He said in Luke 17:36, "One shall be taken, and the other left"?
    No. There is not the slightest indication that the event is secret. Jesus was describing Noah's flood and the destruction of Sodom. (See Luke 17:26-37.) He told how God spared Noah and Lot and destroyed the wicked. He says specifically that the flood and fire "destroyed them all." Verses 27, 29. Plainly, in each case, a few were taken to safety and the rest were destroyed. Then He added, "Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." Verse 30. To illustrate, Jesus continued, "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." Verse 36. There is nothing secret about it. "Every eye shall see Him." Revelation 1:7. At His second coming, Christ publicly and openly takes the righteous up into the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) and slays the wicked (Isaiah 11:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8). That's why Luke 17:37 speaks of the bodies of the wicked and mentions the eagles (or vultures) gathered around them. (See also Revelation 19:17, 18.) The wicked who are left behind at Christ's coming are left dead.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  3. gigir

    K. A turning to spiritism

    "In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits." 1 Timothy 4:1. "They are the spirits of devils." Revelation 16:14.

    People today, including a vast number of the heads of nations, seek counsel from psychics, channelers, and spiritualists. Spiritism has invaded the churches, as well, with the false teaching of the immortality of the soul. The Bible teaches that the dead are dead.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  4. gigir

    J. A special message to the world in the very last days

    "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14.

    The great, solemn, last warning message of Christ's second coming is now being presented in more than 900 languages and dialects. Nearly 95 percent of the world's population has access to this message. Before Jesus' second coming, every person in the world will be warned of His soon return. People will be lost only if they reject the warn

    October 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  5. Brett

    Ah Man, the defense dept just purchased brand new state of the art drones, now who we gonna incenerate? Hey this is America, we'll find some sumbich to blow to smitherines...Ahmen!

    August 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  6. Smokey

    What is al-qaeda? Abdullah Azzam said that they were the vanguard of islam, the foundational basis for the envisioned world. In today's world, after 9/11, there is no more such vanguard, they are dead, captured, or abandoned the field. And yet the plan they set in motion on that day continues even now!

    How did the afghan mujahideen contribute to the fall of the Soviet Union? Not by their own valiance, though it was great. Not by the material losses they inflicted. No, it was the Soviets' own overreaching and their own momentum which carried them too far, caused them to overextend themselves, exposed and opened up weaknesses in their system which would otherwise not have been apparent. The Afghan War did not by itself bring down the Soviet Union, of course not. But it showed the world that even these desperate people could stand up against a superpower, and even more, that the superpower was in its own way weak and vulnerable. It was less than five years after it fled Afghanistan that the Soviet Union fell.

    Was this not al-qaeda's goal on 9/11? To draw America into this trap? To allow our own violent momentum and aggression to pull the superpower off balance, to expose its weaknesses, military, cultural, and like the Soviets, most of all economic? Doesn't America today resemble the USSR of the 1980s, aware that our system is broken, aware that economic reforms are desperately needed but baffled as to what they ought to be, terrified that it may be too late, trapped in an endless Afghan war...and when that war ends, how long does America have left? Five years? Less?

    Al-qaeda may be defeated and bin Laden may be dead but America is still fighting their ghost, and the longer we fight the more we too look like a ghost, the ghost of a dead superpower. So I say, yes, declare victory, before it's too late, before America follows the Soviet Union's path in the graveyard of empires, before we finally realize who we are fighting – and defeat ourselves.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • Ambassador Stevens

      I would have to disagree.

      October 2, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  7. Hacking World

    Thank you for another excellent article. Where else may anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I'm at the search for such information.

    July 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  8. The Democracy Myth

    Over 6 trillion spent to eradicate a bunch of third world goat herders. And America's economy in shambles and teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Yes. It is a glorious victory to destroy both yourself and your enemy.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      It's not the goat herders we're after.....what price do you put on your way of life and the civilized world?

      July 10, 2012 at 3:28 am | Reply
  9. rjp34652

    WHO CREATED AL-QAEDA in the first place? Do you know?

    The nation that recruited, equipped, trained and operated the group now defined as outlaws is America. OBL was a CIA trained front man from the beginning. Don't believe me? Do your homeowork and research the days of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The USA created the Mujahideen to fight the Red Army. The organization became the root for the current Taliban groups and al qaeda groups (more than one of each).

    Want more? Presently the US employs al qaeda fighters as mercenaries in certain international mishief. Remember Libya? Al qaeda was there operating on behalf of UK, France and America. John McCain was aware of it and called them 'heros'. Back in the 80's they were our allies, on 9/11 they were enemies, in the spring of 2011 McCain said they were heros, today they're enemies again. Talk about waffling.

    Are American citizens being 'played' by the military-industrial complex? Do your homework. What do you think?

    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    July 5, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Historian

      "Joseph Stalin demanded an unconditional surrender from the Nazis."

      I'm not sure Stalin was someone who we can cite. Stalin's Gulag camps genocided millions.


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqfV0XCySZU

      July 7, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
      • dave

        As least back then there was a clear understanding what "winning" a war was about and what victory meant.

        July 8, 2012 at 2:59 am |
  10. sasdigger

    Mr Bergen-It used to be that the author of an article would stand to defend the merits and truth of the written content.

    When America is attacked by a revengful Al Qaeda that is being invited to strike at the heart of our country by an indifferent and willing collaborative progressive, socialist, leftist elite I hope your welcoming puff peace will be recalled as one more sad contributive element rotting freedom and secucrity from within.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  11. suzyqpie

    If you choose to abstract al qaeda, do so at your own peril. In the name of accuracy, it will be necessary to add boka haram and al shabab. Islam says we are coming to kill you, see Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg, Isreal defends themselves accordingly. We in the USA give them money. Our Nobel Peace Prize winning drone fleet commander is evolving.

    July 1, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply
  12. Desertfox

    This is an example why CNN ratings are in the toilet. Stupid non-researched baloney like this. Claiming Al Qaeda is defeated is like turning your back on an injured snake or cougar, the next thing you realize is their teeth are in your neck. Perhaps Peter Bergen would be more adept at predicting when the Cubs will win the World Series and let professionals deal with Al Qaeda and their ilk.

    June 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  13. Paul B.

    The problem is that as long as there is a koran there will be an al queda mentality. Increasingly, Muslims do not need the central structure that bin Laden relied on. Indeed, their major thinkers have come to the conclusion that they are more effective working in independent small groups or even as individuals, using the internet to share information.

    So you want to declare victory and then move on to jobs. That won't stop the Islamic threat. Taking out AQ bigwigs will only drive the movement deeper and make it harder to root out. "Guide the maturation of the Arab Spring"? Really? The Arab Spring is an Islamist nightmare. Right under your nose the seedling of the next generation of Islamic terrorism is sprouting, and you want to declare victory.

    June 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  14. bubble burster

    If the "war" were declared won wouldn't we stop doing all those things the author argues has weakened the organization? What will the group do once we stop? Concur in their defeat? Rebuild?

    This is also amazing naive in a political way. Imagine that a US president declares victory over al-Qaeda, lets up on some of the policies and then a year or two later Al-Qaeda strikes again. "Mission Accomplished" anyone?

    Thank God Bergen isn't actually making policy but rather just analyzing it poorly

    June 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  15. Anjaan

    It is time all the naive commentators and analysts understand, and all the American insiders acknowledge, that Pakistani army is not only providing support and cover for the Taliban and Al Qaeda ... they are in fact the largest and most organized Islamic terrorist organization in the world.

    June 30, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  16. MJGranger

    So I guess I missed it when al Qaeda and the Taliban surrendered, turned in all their weapons, and then promised never to hurt anyone ever again.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  17. Matt

    This is proof that idiotic journalists have an effect on the population. There is a reason why CNN has the lowest ratings in 20 yrs. The only people who argree with this childish thinking are Pakistanis. Way to win over the enemy you total disgrace of a human. If there is no AQ threat why don't you go vacation in Pakistan or Yeman or Mali or Somalia Paul? You coward. This article was written with the full understanding of its total falsehoods for the sole purpose of convincing stupid people to vote for Obama. It is an election yr. and the only good thing Obama can claim is his whacking Usama. This is just an extension of that stupid argument. It wa sooo stupid for Bush to claim victory but now it is the absolute truth....yea whatever you fool.

    June 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  18. MAJ_Dave

    Mr. Bergen, I invite you to expand the horizon of your information and consider not only what we have done, but to consider what Al-Qaeda’s objectives are and what it has accomplished. In my opinion, your analysis is full with mirror-imaging; looking at issues from a Western perspective without really taking into account AQ has a vote as well. It is as if we are playing two different games—AQ is seeking to increase support for its ideology and reduce US/Western influence in the region, while we are trying to kill their leaders. In my opinion your analysis ignores the success of AQ and what they have accomplished.

    What you left out about AQ since al-Zawahiri took charge: 1) Al-Zawahiri has issued 18 messages targeting a wide range of audiences in the region—this is four-and a half-times the pace of UBL messaging; 2) AQ Central helped to broker an agreement between extremist groups in AFPAK; 3) Al-Shabaab formally joined the movement; 4) AQ Central is claiming to hold a US Aid worker and is making strategic-level demands; and, 5) AQ has initiated a new front in Syria. Should we claim victory?

    Your opinion piece states: “Consider some of al Qaeda's obvious weaknesses” and provides a list of statements without explaining how they are weaknesses. This is a poor methodology for an argumentative essay. Regarding some of your statements:

    “According to reliable press reports, CIA drones have killed 28 al Qaeda leaders . . . “ What is the significance of this? What is the evidence of its impact? Is it possible that younger, more radical leaders are to replacing these leaders?

    “As a result, al Qaeda has one senior leader left, Ayman al-Zawahiri, a black hole of charisma who took over the group after the death of Osama bin Laden. He inherited the Blockbuster Video of global jihad and has done nothing to resuscitate it.” Comment: AQ has its ideology and a robust media capability. Internal AQ communications indicate that AQ believes its work to attract youth is successful. This is a major plank in their strategy.

    “ Al Qaeda hasn't conducted a successful attack in the West since the bombings on London's transportation system seven years ago that killed 52 commuters. And the terrorist group, of course, hasn't carried out an attack in the States since 9/11.” Comment: This is a fallacious argument that creates a false sense of security. How many attempts have been made? How many plots have been interdicted? How many failed due to poor execution? How do we explain the influence of AQ on the Fort Hood Shooter? What about the underwear bomber over a US city? How is it AQ Central is holding a US citizen hostage, which can be consider a strategic operation?

    “Even terrorists influenced by al Qaeda-like ideas have only killed 17 people in the United States since 9/11. About the same number of Americans are killed every year by dogs. In other words, in the United States during the past decade, dogs have been around ten times more deadly than jihadist terrorists.” Comment: A fallacious argument that really undermines the credibility of your analysis. What about Americans killed abroad by the ideology? What about all the western hostages, Shia and Christian victims, Western military personnel? Is the significance of the ideology only about internal US security?

    “Polling data from across the Muslim world in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, and Turkey indicate that support for al Qaeda has plummeted.” Comment: Statistics are interesting indeed. I believe the poll you are referencing also found the following: Muslims who had a favorable opinion of Al-Qaeda: Egypt 20 %, Jordan 15%, Pakistan 13% Turkey, 6%. How many millions does this represent? In my opinion, the same data that you cite as demonstrating AQ is weak rather portrays a shockingly high number of potential supporters.

    “Al Qaeda played no role in the Arab Spring . . .” Comment: Significance? This argument that it had no role and therefore demonstrates weakness is simply mirror-imaging rubbish. At least cite evidence to show the significance. Internal AQ communications demonstrate AQ is delighted with the Arab Spring. Their objectives are furthered and their path to success is accelerated by the removal of regimes and Western influence in the region. A party does not have to be actively involved in a process to benefit from it.

    “At the same time that al Qaeda has weakened considerably . . .” Comment: Weakened? Their strategy was to expand their extremist ideology. A survey of the extremist environment shows the following: Boko Haram (2002), Islamic State of Iraq (2006), AQIM (2007), Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus (2007), Army of Islam (Gaza) (2007), AQ Kurdish Battalions (Iran) (2007), Al-Shabaab (2007), AQAP (2009), Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Ansar Al-Jihad Sinai (2011), Al-Nusrah Front (2011), Abd al-Rahman Brigades (Libya) (2012). This is only a partial list and does not show Asian groups and the extremist constellation in Pakistan.

    “On 9/11, there were 16 people on the "no fly" list. Now there are more than 20,000.” Comment: Significance? Does this not suggest the problem is worse?

    “ In 2001, there were just a handful of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), "fusion centers" where multiple law enforcement agencies work together to chase down leads to build terrorism cases. Now there are more than one hundred JTTFs across the country.” Comment: Significance? How does this demonstrate AQ weakness?

    “ A decade ago, the National Counterterrorism Center, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) didn't exist.” Comment: How does this demonstrate AQ weakness?

    “ Before 9/11, Special Operations Forces were rarely deployed against al Qaeda and allied groups. Now they perform some dozen operations every day in Afghanistan, as well as many other missions in countries such as Yemen and Somalia.” Comment: This suggests AQ is defeated?

    “ At the beginning of the 21st century, the American public didn't comprehend the threat posed by jihadist terrorists. That changed dramatically . . .” Comment: How does this show AQ weakness? What does it say about the desire to strike US targets

    June 28, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
    • Matt

      Well said Major. I do not have your patience. Thank you for defending this country from our enemies both foreign and domestic.

      June 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  19. dudley

    They live on attention and use the media as a method for recruiting and fundraising.

    Seems obvious what to do... ... ...

    June 28, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
  20. Talibob

    Towel Heads is what Towel Heads do.

    June 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  21. Safi Sher Dil

    NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination……
    She said so little was known about the atrocities being committed by more than half a million Indian troops, the continuing repression and indignities let loose on Kashmiri men, women and children.
    More than 700,000 troops were concentrated in the tiny valley, with checkpoints at every nook and corner of Kashmiri towns and cities. The huge Indian presence, she added, was in sharp contrast with 160,000 US troops in Iraq.
    Ms Roy alleged that Indian army or security personnel were killing innocent young children and women, adding that Kashmiris were not radical Islamists or jihadists as India portrayed them.

    June 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  22. KWS

    Al Qaeda was effectively defeated when the passengers took over the 4th plane. The rest was just a long, bloody slide down a very deep drain.

    Still, some extremists and have-nots around the world will always hate America and try to hurt and kill us, and they will invoke the name Al Qaeda because the image of those collapsing towers will illicit horror and fear for decades to come.

    June 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  23. lmllr1

    Surely the folks at CNN are smart enough to realize that this war stopped being about Al Qaeda a long time ago? It is about making the masses easier to control by keeping them in a constant state of fear. If Al Qaeda hated us because of our freedoms, they won a resounding victory when Obama signed the NDAA.

    June 27, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      Quite true lmllr1, quite true!

      June 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Henrietta

      In that sense Al Qaeda won and will be victorious for a long time if not forever. It transformed US of A into an oppressive, nightmarish to live in state unless you are rich enough to isolate from reality. Disagree? Just try to follow your conscience and support, say, wikileaks or Bradley Manning or internet privacy or try to fight one of the big corporations, or... simply take a trip on a plane.

      June 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • jimneotech

      Absolutely true. But how long will it take the sheeple to acknowledge it?

      June 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • Peikovianyi

      Your Cirque du Jerque needs to go sleep in the park.

      June 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  24. Zane Abdullah

    We all know the dirty games India is playing in the region...financing terrorists who are killing US/NATO/Pakistani troops ....undermining democracies, paying off some factions of talibans protection money so they won't do another Mumbai attack, All this because they are scared of Al Qaeda and Talibans. INDIANS....we dare you to stop hiding behind American skirts and come out in the open and face these terrorists eye to eye and NOT to run away from them and take bullets in the back.

    June 27, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Anjaan

      You idiot Paki ..... have not learned any lesson from the 1971 thrashing, when 90,000 Paki armymen polished shoes of their Indian counterpart, in order to get back alive ... !

      June 30, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  25. michaelfury

    Whatever happened to that guy on the right, btw, Mr. Bergen?

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/the-talented-mr-pearlman/

    June 27, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  26. krm1007 ©™

    The bottom line is that the only way to have peace in Afghanistan and lessen regional tension is split India into pieces. It has become too big to govern or create any value for western countries or even for its own population. We have invested a lot of resources in India over the past two decades and given a lot of aid to prop it up. There has been no investment on this return. Instead India has squandered all the resources in building nuclear weapons while poverty remains rampant in the country. We need to revisit our relationship with India. American taxpayers will not tolerate this anymore. We need to take care of our own populace going forward. We cannot be exporting jobs to India or giving it financial or technical handouts.

    June 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • Thank you

      WELL SAID

      June 27, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
  27. krm1007 ©™

    The American invasion of Afghanistan brought to the forefront the irrelevance of India as a nation. With a population of over 1.2 billion people there was no value that this nation could bring to the table. Their soldiers (ragtag) 1.2million continue hiding in the trenches scared from Talibans. A few teenage Talibans invaded the country and held it hostage for days on end showing how useless India is. It was embarrasing for the world to observe this humiliation of a nation that was being touted as a regional power. The Talibans brought them down in a few days with some BB guns. It is all over for India. Its demise is in process and should be completed with Afghanistan withdrawal.

    June 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  28. George Patton

    Al Qaeda has never been as powerful as the right-wing news media led us to believe. Moreover, it's quite dubious that without outside help that Al Qaeda, due to their lack of sophistication and their finances frozen, could never have pulled off 9/11. Most of all, we still don't know if that was the true Ussama bin Laden who got murdered on May 2 last year.

    June 27, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
    • TJ

      GP you may be right and "Al Qaeda has never been as powerful as the right-wing news media led us to believe" but they have also NEVER been the poor picked-on, mis-understood peace lovin peoples you would have us think they are. bin laden murdered?? nope, just killed. he considered himself at war and he was killed by hero warriors. you are welcome...

      June 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  29. MehBOOB BUTT

    everyone in world knows which country is backing up these monters ..bakistan

    June 27, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      More so the Pakistani Army than the Pakistani Government. Of course, their Army is playing both sides against the middle, too, along with undermining their own civilian government.

      June 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  30. michaelfury

    Agreed. So maybe you can get your "security forum" to discuss this:

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/pulverized-to-near-power/

    June 27, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply

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