October 6, 2009

THAT'S A QUESTION, BUT HARDLY THE QUESTION:

Al-Qaida showing smaller presence in Afghanistan (ROBERT H. REID, 10/06/09, Associated Press)

Al-Qaida's role in Afghanistan has faded after eight years of war. Gone is the once-formidable network of camps and safe houses where Osama bin Laden and his mostly Arab operatives trained thousands of young Muslims to wage a global jihad. The group is left with fewer than 100 core fighters, according to the Obama administration, likely operating small-scale bomb-making and tactics classes conducted by trainers who travel to and from Pakistan.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that al-Qaida has "lost operational capacity" after a series of military setbacks and vowed to continue the battle to cripple the terror organization.

With the U.S. reassessing how to achieve that objective, the key question now is whether al-Qaida could reconstitute its Afghan base even if its Taliban allies regain power.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 6, 2009 4:19 PM
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