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Editorial: Claim of degradation

The US is claiming to have degraded al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden has used the 10th anniversary of the raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden to support his decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan.  The terrorist group was the mastermind of 9/11 attacks. The most interesting point of Biden’s statement is that he claimed that al-Qaeda is greatly degraded and that’s why bringing America’s troops home. No one is trying to oppose Biden’s announcement or decision that he would end his country’s longest war by September 11. The foreign troops have to go one day and the sooner is the better. But what Biden is saying is really out of milieu. He must remember this day almost one decade ago when the then US President Barack Obama approved a secret operation to target Osama bin Laden in his residence in Pakistan. This is the first reminder for Biden to summon up the place where Laden was killed. Second is that Laden was the leader and his elimination did not help to destroy al-Qaeda Terrorist Network in all of its manifestation – he was the leader and his elimination did not stop or weaken the group. The terrorist group already said they are still capable of attacking the US and the war against American’s is not over. Another issue is that Biden did not bother even to mention the place where Laden was killed. Pakistan is now clearly dumping its chest for supporting the militant groups. It’s imperative for Biden to know that not only Laden, but the Taliban leaders – Mullah Omer died in one of hospitals in Pakistan and his successor Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed by a US drone again in Pakistan while he was traveling to Iran. Even the country’s top leadership described bin Laden as a martyr, and also did not rule out their influence on Taliban group, calming it was their pressure that Taliban agreed for peace talks. Like Laden’s death did not stop al-Qaeda’s fighters from carrying attacks, the same the death of Mullah Omer and Mullah Akhtar Mansoor did not help degrade the group rather they intensified their nefarious activities. It would be naive to claim that bin Laden’s death degraded the whole terrorist network.  Biden administration officials believe that the threat from al-Qaeda has been sharply reduced since the US invasion in 2001, but what if they reemerge more powerfully and more deadly once the drawdown is completed. The group is not eliminated fully, still they have links with the Taliban, and even the group thanked the Taliban for their fight against the US forces in Afghanistan till their defeat. Given the nature of the treat right now, the hasty and irresponsible withdrawal with huge failure in the way of US campaign of war on terror would soon have consequences.

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