The killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States and many other attacks around the world, has potentially struck a fatal blow against the al Qaida terrorist network. In a recent interview with the news program 60 Minutes, President Barack Obama said, valuable information was gathered from the compound in which bin Laden had been holed up before he was killed. "We anticipate [this intelligence] can give us leads to other terrorists that we've been looking for for a long time, other high value targets."
"We have done a great job even before we got bin Laden," said President Obama, "in degrading their capacity. And now we have the opportunity. . .I think to really finally defeat at least Al Qaida in that border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. That doesn't mean that we will defeat terrorism," said President Obama. "It doesn't mean that Al Qaida hasn't metastasized to other parts of the world. But it does mean we've got a chance to, I think, really deliver a fatal blow to this organization, if we follow through aggressively in the months to come."
The fact that bin Laden was found to be hiding out in Pakistan has called some to question that country's commitment to the war on terrorism. But President Obama made clear that in the years since 9/11, Pakistan has been a strong counterterrorism partner with the United States. "There have been times where we've had disagreements. There have been times where we wanted to push harder, and for various concerns, they might have hesitated. And those are real differences," said President Obama. "And they'll continue."
"But the fact of the matter is, that we've been able to kill more terrorists on Pakistani soil than just about any place else. We could not have done that without Pakistani cooperation," said President Obama. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join the United States in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
"The American people did not choose this fight, said President Obama. "It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. . . .After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies."