As America’s morbid celebrations over the killing of Osama bin Laden begin to fade, we are left with a new landscape of risks – and opportunities – created by his slaying at the hands of a U.S. Special Forces team at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The range of those future prospects could be found in Wednesday’s Washington Post. On the hopeful side, a front-page article reported that the Obama administration was following up bin Laden’s death with accelerated peace talks in Afghanistan. On a darker note, a Post editorial hailed bin Laden’s slaying as a model for “targeting” Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and his sons.
So, while there is the possibility that the United States might finally begin to wind down a near-decade-long war in Afghanistan, there is the countervailing prospect of the United States consolidating an official policy of assassination and violence as the way to impose Washington’s will on the Muslim world.