We’re still waiting for the President’s speech, but it seems that US forces have killed Osama bin Laden.
Obviously, it feels good. But the question is what does it mean in policy terms? At first blush, if US national security required a massive military presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan last week then it still requires one this week whether or not bin Laden is dead. Then again, my inclination would have been to say last week that such a presence wasn’t actually required. And obtaining a major symbolic/emotional victory, combined with the winds of political change sweeping across the Arab world, might provide an opportune movement to reorient our posture.
Of course this also presumably has a substantial impact on the domestic politics of foreign countries, especially Afghanistan and Pakistan. What kind of impact? I have no idea. But foreign politics will necessarily have some kind of impact on our policy.