Osama Bin Laden Dead, But Costly War on Terror Goes On


Some in the Muslim world are calling on the United States to leave Afghanistan now that bin Laden is dead, but the current U.S. strategy is likely to continue as is and his death won't change the course when it comes to fighting terrorism, experts say.

"We never focused the war on terror around one man," said Anthony H. Cordesman, national security analyst and Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The fact is, from the start, we've had to deal with a much broader set of threats. It has always been not simply bin Laden or the people at the top, but the entire network, the affiliates, the other groups they work with al Qaeda."

"Every threat that existed before his death is still there," he added.

It has, in fact, heightened concerns about revenge attacks. Many say al Qaeda's ideology will survive any one man, even though bin Laden was the movement's founder and leader.

"At an operational level, bin Laden's death may have no immediate effect on the group's activities," Noman Benotman, a former jihadist leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and an associate of bin Laden from 1989 to 2000, warned in a statement. "The ideology of al Qaeda is still alive and is still attractive to many people. This is not the end of the al Qaeda problem."

What may happen is that resources now shift. Already, lawmakers are questioning U.S. aid to Pakistan. New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg became the first to declare publicly that all monetary assistance should be suspended until Congress receives answers from Pakistan about how bin Laden was able to live in Abbottabad, just blocks away from one of the largest military schools in the country.

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