Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Is Dead. What Now?

At midnight President Obama announced to the world that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a firefight with US Special Forces and that the Americans had captured his body. This is, without a doubt, the reason why we went into Afghanistan after 9/11. Yet, does Bin Laden's death change anything in terms of America's war in Afghanistan?

The answer is no. Bin Laden's death will not change anything in the least, unfortunately. Originally the US stated that they entered Afghanistan to hunt down Bin Laden, dismantle Al Qaeda, and make sure that Afghanistan could not be used as a base of operations for the terrorist network. Now that we have killed Bin Laden, the head man of Al Qaeda, it will not change anything as the US will still stay in Afghanistan in order to prop up the corrupt Karzai regime. Also, with AQ's decentralization in recent years, they will most likely still be around.

Just like in Iraq, the reasons for invading Afghanistan have evolved to include setting up a democracy, protecting women, and making sure that schoolgirls are able to safely get their education. The US government will say while it has successfully killed bin Laden and Al Qaeda is virtually nonexistent, to fulfill the above-stated goals, ISAF will have to continue its battle with the Taliban.

This is a major setback for the peace movement as the supporters of the war in Afghanistan will now be able to argue that by 'staying the course' the US successfully killed Bin Laden and now all we have to do is stay that same course in regards to the Taliban and eventually we will defeat them as well. The fact that there are about 150 AQ members left in Afghanistan means nothing to the US government. They will most likely still continue the war in Afghanistan and the US and its allies will be there beyond 2014, as has been recommended by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

And the war goes on.

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