Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Death of Bin Laden: Why the 10 year Wait?

The death of Osama Bin laden, source of triumph for the Obama administration and a source of US suspicion and embarrassment of the pakistani intelligence community, has brought an end to a manhunt that has spanned a decade and a half. Bin Laden was found in a compound worth $1 million in a relatively affluent area in Pakistan situated next to the country's 'equivalent 'Westpoint or Sandhurst'. The discovery then liquidation of Bin Laden, while celebrated by the US government officials and the general public at large, has brought up more questions than answers, two of which proved to be prominent, firstly, how can Bin Laden go undetected  in compound near to a military academy not to mention the various clues that should have led to at least a minor growth of suspicion with respect to million dollar property with colombian drug dealer like security levels without internet access or any another form of communication and secondly, why has it taken so long to find, capture, and kill Osama Bin Laden given that Bin Laden's broke his usual pattern of evasion in 2005, despite it being well known his whereabouts were in pakistan. A plausible answer to these questions lies in a change in priorities as shown in the video below.

Bush's attitude in the video towards the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden seems to provide ample reason why finding Bin Laden required such a wait and can explain why the CIA shut down Alec Station in 2006, a unit dedicated well before Bin Laden became a 'household name' to killing or capturing him with focus shifted to foiling plots from 'Al-Qaeda inspired groups' rather than actually addressing key 'Organisations and Individuals'. This follows the trend experienced by other units in pursuits of Bin Laden such as Delta Force were reassigned from their hunt for Bin Laden to Al-Zarqawi, with the escalation of the iraq war between 2005-06. 

It can be argued that this change in tact and target could be due to considerable growth in the knowledge of Al-Qaeda an organization acknowledging the decentralized structure and the increased occurrence of  terrorist attacks independent of any central command. In sum, the death of Bin Laden signals neither the beginning or end with respect to the war on terror but a major scalp on the battlefield from which the US can draw hope, however the 'scalp in question happens to be a scalp that should not have taken ten years to claim.                 

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