No doubt there will be naysayers who claim that Al Qaeda was a convenient fiction for the U.S. Government in the first place, but in any event it is certainly a change of tune to hear the U.S. Defense Secretary talk about victory over the bad guys. No doubt it means a change of strategy – but what? Mary Walsh reports for CBS News:
The United States is “within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda,” Leon Panetta declared, as he traveled to Afghanistan for his first visit there as Secretary of Defense.
Speaking to reporters aboard a government flight to Kabul, Panetta said intelligence gathered during the raid at Osama bin Laden’s compound has lead the United States to target 10-20 key al Qaeda leaders.
“If we can go after them, I think we really can strategically defeat al Qaeda,” Panetta said.
The success of the May raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where bin Laden was killed, along with “operations that we conducted at the CIA,” has undermined the terror organization’s ability to conduct 9/11-type attacks, he added.