"Tell me how this ends" - that quiz could be applied like 'kini wax to global Surges, drawdowns and opportunities against creepy terrorists all over the CENTCOM gap.
aQ has had a bad year no doubt - yet has an operational and strategic hope in Yemen as Deadly Embrace dude shares:
"...Yemen does not pose the strategic nightmare like Pakistan, armed as it is with nuclear weapons and a melange of different terror groups. But it is the Achilles' heel of the Arabian Peninsula. A stronger AQAP not only threatens our homeland; it threatens the stability of the Gulf Arab monarchies, already feeling the heat of the Arab spring.
"...AQAP is led by a group of Yemeni and Saudi fanatics determined to take up bin Laden’s legacy of attacking America. Already they have twice tried to strike our heartland, Detroit and Chicago, with bombs on jets. The New Mexico-born AQAP ideologue Anwar al Awlaki is convinced that relatively small attacks on America can “hemorrhage” an already weak economy, sparking another meltdown; he predicts the entire Middle East is heading toward “war on a colossal scale” as the Arab spring turns to a struggle for power between America, Iran, Little Satan, and the new Arab awakening. He openly wants to give a push to help regional war come faster.
Yet there are diff ways groups like Taliban or aQ can collapse.
Massive military campaigns may not be doable - simply 'cause "...exterminating an entire terrorist group typically requires more brutal methods..." than democrazy govs feel comfy doing: Dr Audrey Cronin at Great Satan's Nat'l Warcraft College calls it "Targeting errors and backlash"
"...An abstract label that described the horror and revulsion that locals feel when terrorists use brainwashed recruits, and even children, to engage in mass slaughter. Terrorist groups generally are effect-ive at building popular support when they limit their targets to occupying soldiers or their allied local police assets. But when those military and police targets become hardened, as has happened in Afghanistan thanks to the presence of NATO soldiers, the terrorists go after softer targets. And that's when the backlash starts.
"...What does this mean for NATO nations, which are reducing their troop strength in Afghanistan?
"...First, it means that we should stop treating every terrorist attack against Afghan civilians -such as the truck bomb that exploded near a maternity hospital in Logar province on Sunday -as a military failure in the war on terrorism. These attacks are humanitarian tragedies, but history shows that their cumulative military effect is to weaken the enemy, not strengthen him. The Taliban themselves know this, which is why they desperately try to disavow responsibility when an attack like this occurs.
"...Second, it means that NATO military commanders have been correct to adopt a military strategy that minimizes civilian casualties. It does us little good for the Taliban to be regarded as murderers if the same label can be credibly attached to us.
"...Third, it means that we have to carefully consider whether we should withdraw from Afghanistan. One thing that a strong military presence can do is force terrorists to avoid the most politically appealing targets -legislature buildings, military outposts, presidential convoys, major commercial hubs, airports -which have been hardened by our troops. Once those troops are gone, these are the targets that the Taliban will go back to targeting.
"...The result of this will be that a terrorist group that had been destroying its reputation and local support base with indiscriminate attacks will once again be able to get back into the more reputable business of real insurgency.
Our best strategy would be to stick around and watch the Taliban self-destruct.
Pic - "Claiming victory and walking away because a few high-value terrorists have been killed will benefit only those who seek to turn Afghanistan back into a militant safe haven."