May 5, 2011

Eight years ago to the day, then President George W. Bush announced “Mission Accomplished.”

It wasn’t.

Sunday, May 1, 2011, our current president did no such thing. But he did announce that a covert military operation ended the life of Osama bin Ladin. For nearly all  Americans, this was the real “Mission Accomplished.” People took to the streets in celebration almost immediately after hearing the news.

This does very little to change the current terrorist landscape. However, we have now accomplished the goal that we set when we invaded Afghanistan: to bring to justice those who perpetrated the 9-11 attacks. Al-Qaida is no longer the top-down, heavily-armed and well-financed organization that it was a decade ago. It has been fractured into small groups throughout the world – sometimes with not more than one or two members per group. And now, their leader is gone.

Militarily, President Obama scored a huge success with the death of bin Ladin. Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, and the Navy Seals team that handled the mission did a remarkable job.

For those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, there will be some closure and personally, I couldn’t be happier that bin Ladin is out of the picture. But it’s a hollow victory for me. We’ve sacrificed so much blood and treasure over these last nine years that his demise seems far less significant by comparison.

Politically, this event resulted in a boost in the president’s poll numbers. He succeeded where his two predecessors failed. Although, with all the domestic issues that need attention: 8.5% unemployment, stupid-high gas prices, a crumbling infrastructure and increasingly higher food costs, the rise in his popularity will probably be short-lived. As a country, we need to re-think our military strategies. Our “enemies” are not other countries anymore. We do not need huge military forces stationed around the world in order to keep the peace. Small, well-trained forces on the ground like “Seal Team 6” appear to be far more effective. (They executed this operation with incredible precision and not one team member was injured, much less killed.) Plus, so much more can be done from the air than ever before that large numbers of ground troops are not necessary.

The world has become “smaller” and more transparent, especially since 9-11. The human desire to be free is starting to re-shape the Middle East with uprisings in many areas. We can be the beacon of peace in the world by not engaging in warfare and not sticking our foreign policy “nose” where it doesn’t belong. Through the unfiltered lens of the internet, people around the globe can witness life in a free society. What they do with that information is up to them, not us.

So… are we done now?

With 24 people and 40 minutes, we succeeded where nearly ten years, thousands of soldiers lost, tens of thousands of soldiers injured, hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed, and well over a trillion dollars spent, did not.

Can we please end these senseless wars?





  1. Absolutely not! Until we recognize the magnitude of the threat we face on our soil. There are conservatively about four million muslims in America. Of those age 18 to 29 nearly thirty percent claim to be Muslim first and american second! Of those, 15 percent sympathize with Al Queda and more importantly 5 to 8 percent believe in killing innocent people. So do the math! That means more than 200,000 young Muslims living here believe the recent verses of the Quran supplant the old verses. Far different scenario than a few hundred fanatics scattered accross a village o

    r two!

    • First of all, THANKS FOR RESPONDING, David! 🙂

      That 200,000 represents approximately .00065% of our population, if it’s accurate. (Source?) They are not organized and they now know they are being watched closely. (If you’re going to be fearful of any group or sect, take a look at established anti-US groups in this country: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/spring/active-patriot-groups-in-the-us; http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/militia_m.asp?xpicked=4&item=19; http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=d9a140qg0; They present a far greater threat to our way of life.) The point of the post is that beefing up intelligence and new technologies will give us much better results than the outdated methods of flooding an area with ground troops and carpet bombing entire cities, resulting in untold numbers of civilian casualties. The most recent mission is a perfect example of how it can and should be done. We have to change our thinking about how we deal with anti-US sentiment. Look what a handful of men did to our country on 9-11, using our own planes! We had the intelligence, scattered as it was, and didn’t put the pieces together. THAT’S what we need to work on, not more troops on the ground – which should be the absolute last resort.

      Again, thanks for responding. It’s the whole idea behind the blog.


      • I was responding to him…. it just went under you.

    • What do those numbers have to do with fighting 20th Century Wars? As the latest mission proved, this requires special forces and intelligence – not hundreds of thousands of troops trying to take over other countries. The only reason to continue to fight terrorism like 20th Century wars is the profit behind them. It has nothing to do with keeping us safe.

      • I was only focused on strategy in this post.

        The war-for-profit and military-for-profit elements of ground wars would take another post entirely. That was too much to get into here, for sure.

        But here’s a teaser for why we really went into Iraq, thereby taking our eye off the ball in Afghanistan: http://www.businesspundit.com/the-25-most-vicious-iraq-war-profiteers/

        Thanks for responding, Adam.

      • I was responding to him…. it just went under you.

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