After Osama Bin Laden

In a piece for TAP online I argue that the killing of Osama bin Laden shows that we don’t need to be fighting a war in Afghanistan and have essentially achieved the main objectives of launching the war:

Here are Bush’s original demands:

—”Deliver to U.S. authorities all the leaders of al-Qaeda that hide in your land.”
—”Release all foreign national including American citizens you have unjustly imprisoned.”
—”Protect all journalists, diplomats, and aid workers in your country.”
—”Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and hand over every terrorist and every person in their support structure to appropriate authorities.”
—”Give the US full access to terrorist training camps so we make sure they are no longer operating.”

Two key assumptions are at work here. One is that the Taliban was actively sheltering key al-Qaeda leaders. The other is that terrorist “training camps” operating in Afghanistan constituted a major threat against the United States. Neither of these is true anymore. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is under American custody at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay. Osama bin Laden is dead. Anwar al-Awlaki is in Yemen. And no terrorist training camps have been operating in Afghanistan for years.

It’s time to move on and to try to shift as far away as possible from the idea of a “war” on terrorism.