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Mon, 02 May 2011 15:17:38

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If the primary goal of our anti-terrorism campaign is to crush Al Qaida, then keeping two billion dollars a week worth of boots on the ground in Afghanistan won't get that done. Propping up Karzai and taming the Taliban are off mission when it comes to neutralizing Al Qaida.

Increasing our military presence in Yemen is also counterproductive, because as Bin Laden made abundantly clear, the goal of Al Qaida is not "winning a war" with America, but regaining the Islamic Caliphate that once stretched from the Hindu Kush to the gates of Vienna. Al Qaida needs a worldwide uprising of the faithful to realize that dream, and goading the U.S. into increasing their unwelcome presence in Islam is a means to that end.

What we need to destroy Al Qaida worldwide is better coordination and analysis of the massive amounts of human and signal intelligence we collect every day. What good are the telephone calls that the NSA intercepts from Morocco to Islamabad, if they lack the Arabic, Urdu, and Pashtun speakers to translate them?

And once analyzed, what good is that info if it lies scattered among the multiple agencies that comprise our intelligence community? I'm glad Bin Laden is dead; but Al Qaida is not a snake that perishes when it's head is severed. With its network of poisonous cells, it's more like a Medusa, that can only be killed when all the snakes that spring from it's head are crushed.

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