May 2 2011

End of the ‘War on Terror’?

This morning a familiar image was again splashed across the newspapers but this time (at least in the West) the mood was celebratory. Ten years on, with wars fought, lives lost, civil liberties curtailed and billions spent, Bin Laden has been killed – taken out by Special US forces deep within Pakistan.

The march of history has continued and American persistence has finally delivered results.

It hasn’t taken long for commentators to weigh in and there are still a lot of unanswered questions. At the top of this list, are questions surrounding Pakistani’s apparent failing to locate bin Laden within their country’s border, no less the fact he was within yards of their elite military academy deep within the country.

There are also questions as to the future of the ‘War on Terror’. Is it time to declare it won and pack it in?

As many have rightly argued, bin Laden’s death does not mean the end of his ideology or threats to the West. In fact, it seems highly likely that reprisal attacks on Western targets are very possible in the next few weeks.

Reprisals or not, for many the feeling that a chapter has closed is apparent. Taking out bin Laden, the ideological godfather of Islamic extremism, may not necessarily affect the numerous spin-off terrorist groups scattered around the world but will reaffirm American resolve and perhaps lift the cloak of constant fear and paranoia.

This in tandem with growing revolutionary sentiment in the Middle East and we may see some positive results.

Lets hope this proves true but it remains doubtful that the ‘War on Terror’ is indeed over.

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