Seize Opportunity To Destroy al-Qaida

With many Americans focused on the debt ceiling argument in Washington, time may be running out for President Barack Obama to take action on an equally – if not more – important matter.

Douglas E. Lute, Obama’s top adviser on Pakistan, suggested Friday the United States should step up action to deliver “a knockout blow” to al-Qaida terrorist leaders in that country.

Speaking at a security forum in Colorado, Lute said al-Qaida leadership remains in turmoil as a result of the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2. “This is a period of turbulence for our enemy. This is the time to double down on the opportunity to defeat al-Qaida,” he explained. He estimated the United States has a window of about six months to take advantage of confusion in al-Qaida leadership.

Though Lute did not go into detail, he clearly is suggested more attacks against al-Qaida targets in Pakistan by U.S. drone aircraft, and perhaps more covert operations by units such as the SEAL team that killed bin Laden.

No doubt Obama is worried about already troubled relations with the government of Pakistan. But if an opportunity to eliminate al-Qaida exists, it should be seized – forcefully and without delay.