March 19, 2004

Did the Other Shoe Drop?

Al Queda has been facing a daunting task in recent years. Post 9/11 it's had the challenge of establishing that it has absorbed the counter-attack and still remains potent and able to pursue the Islamist goal of a restored Caliphate. The subsequent Al Queda bombings were too small and had too little consequence for them to answer that question. But at this point, Al Queda can claim to have changed the Spanish government. In other words, it's won 3 years of life where it can say, "oh, after 9/11 we decided to go from big announcements of our capabilities to real world changes like changing the government of Spain". This is a potent pitch line for Al Queda recruiters and it's likely to work.

This means that we have until about 2006-2007 for their next big effort and our next opportunity to kill of this group. The bottom line is that Al Queda must have a major success every 2-3 years otherwise its recruiting will dry up, and that's game over for them. Whatever happens, Al Queda has always had, and always will have, a big problem with attrition. Not only do they have to worry about active efforts to kill and capture their members, they also have to worry about defections to more peaceful forms of Islam or just plain apostasy.

So President Bush or President Kerry will get a single shot in the next term to kill Al Queda by ruining their ability to replace these losses. The election should be conducted discussing who will best lead the US in the throttling of this monster.

Posted by TMLutas at March 19, 2004 12:48 PM