Al Qaeda on the run
Love to report good news whenever possible. Our new Defense Secretary and former CIA boss, Leon Panetta, on his first trip to Afghanistan, says "We are within reach of strategically
defeating Al Qaeda." There is plenty of previously unknown information that came out of the computers and actual printouts at the Pakistani house where Osama bin Laden was found and killed on May 2. We now know where up to 20 leaders were in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and northern Africa on that day. "Now is the moment to put maximum pressure on them, because I do believe that if we continue this effort we can actually cripple Al Qaeda as a major threat," he said, particularly to the United States and Great Britain, where a planned attack was recently uncovered and ended in Europe.
"I think we can really undermine their ability to do any kind of planning, to be able to conduct any kind of attack," on the United States. "That's why I think it's within reach. Is it going to take some more work? You bet it is, but I think it's within reach,"
With a new defense secretary, there will be another attempt at bettering relations with often unpredictable Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has been on a verbal attack against the international military coalition. US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry is coming home, replaced by Ryan Crocker. The former ambassador to Iraq is no stranger to Karzi. It was Crocker who in 2001, re-established the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. US Commander General David Petraeus is about to leave Afghanistan to fill the top CIA post, vacated by Panetta last week. Marine General John R. Allen replaces Petraeus as US commander.