Monday, May 2, 2011
The killing Sunday of Osama bin Laden by U.S. troops who raided his compound in Pakistan is a significant victory in the war on terror.
Bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks on America, has eluded U.S. troops and U.S. intelligence agencies for nearly a decade. It's been frustrating for government officials and U.S. citizens.
Yes, we all understood how difficult it would be to capture or kill bin Laden. He has a huge network of rabid followers, some of whom might hold positions in Pakistan and neighboring countries. It has been a sore point.
As bin Laden evaded capture he taunted the U.S., releasing videotapes of himself to show he was still alive.
In the past few years the U.S. had heard less from bin Laden, which caused many to suspect the al-Qaida leader might be dead. However, nobody knew for sure, meaning we might never know the fate of bin Laden.
As a result, bin Laden remained a thorn to the U.S. The mention of his name continued to bring into question the competency of U.S. intelligence efforts. The criticism was not necessarily fair, but it was there.
But the operation that finally brought bin Laden down has put the shine back on that tarnished image.
The U.S. had gotten information through intelligence work that bin Laden was in a luxury compound in Pakistan located near a prestigious military academy.
U.S. officials said the 40-minute raid involved a helicopter assault on the compound by a small number of U.S. operatives. No other country was involved for fear that information would be leaked back to bin Laden.
Officials said bin Laden resisted the U.S. team and was shot in the head. No Americans were killed or wounded.
Today, this nation rejoices over this victory.
America is growing weary of the lingering war in Afghanistan, launched as a counter to the Sept. 11 attacks, and the war in Iraq. The recent military action in Libya has added to Americans' concerns.
The successful raid on bin Laden should energize the United States in the effort to battle terrorism.
In the long run, let's hope this new energy results in public support to do what's necessary to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq so U.S. troops can come home.