The United States has achieved a major victory in the War on Terrorism by eliminating Osama bin Laden, head of Al-Qaida. Yet the question still remains, what should the United States military strategy be moving forward? Now that the most visible terrorist threat has been removed, what should our foreign policy be? The answers to these questions are imperative to our national security and overall prosperity for future generations.
From a military standpoint, the defeat of Bin Laden almost a week ago represents a huge victory for our United States Armed forces, regardless of whether he was armed. This is something that cannot be said enough. Whether you or I believe that the policies of President Barack Obama or former President George W. Bush led to the capture and killing of Osama is irrelevant. The fact is that none of this would have been possible without the outstanding efforts of the United States Navy SEALs.
This is an important distinction as we move forward, if only because it underlies the need for a strong defense in this country. Sure, as a nation, we have a huge deficit we need to reduce. Keeping outdated aircrafts and military vessels is highly unnecessary. But if we are to be successful in the war on terror, rather than reduce defense spending to balance the budget that money should be redirected to adequately train our troops, both here and abroad.
That it was SEAL Team Six, the so called best of the Navy Seals, who got to Bin Laden, should also tell us something. Recently we have been hearing on the news about the SEALs needing more recruits, so they have adjusted their training methods to increase their numbers. I totally understand the need for the Navy to ramp up its special forces’ unit. I just don’t think that this is one area where quality can be sacrificed for quality. Not if it would mean we would be open to another attack like 9/11.
I also do not believe that from a foreign policy standpoint, just because we have eliminated the biggest terrorist on our list, we can or should start negotiating with terrorists. These individuals have shown they are willing to risk their own life to kill Americans and their allies, and they should be treated as enemy combatants, not war criminals. They should not get a trial by jury. In addition, anyone who associates themselves with terrorists should also be considered a terrorist. That means we should not be willing to negotiate with the likes of the Taliban, who has supported Al-Qaeda with weapons for quite some time.
We have come a long way on the war on terror, as many leaders of the most notorious terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, have been disposed of, one way or another. Yet despite this victory, there is still a significant amount of work left to be done.