Pakistan

Egyptian Saif al-Adel Appointed Acting Leader of Al Qaeda

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 17, 2011 |

An Egyptian who was once a Special Forces officer has been appointed "caretaker" leader of al Qaeda in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, according to a source with detailed knowledge of the group's inner workings.

Al Qaeda's interim leader is Saif al-Adel, who has long played a prominent role in the group, according to Noman Benotman. Benotman has known the al Qaeda leadership for more than two decades. He was once a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a militant organization that used to be aligned with al Qaeda, but in recent years renounced al Qaeda's ideology.

Obama's Mission: Talk to Some Enemies, Don't Kill Them

  • By
  • Romesh Ratnesar,
  • New America Foundation
May 16, 2011 |

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama made two shocking breaches of foreign-policy-establishment etiquette. The first was to suggest if the U.S. had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, Obama, as President, would commit U.S. force to kill bin Laden. This statement of utter common sense was denounced by Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries. "He basically threatened to bomb Pakistan, which I don't think was a particularly wise position to take," she said. And it was similarly ridiculed by John McCain.

Let's Get to the Real Debate

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
May 12, 2011 |

Does the death of Osama Bin Laden mean the United States should speed up the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan?

Congressional leaders of both parties are saying it does, as are, reportedly, some advisers in certain quarters of the White House.

After Osama: Where Do We Go From Abbottabad?

May 12, 2011

At an informal, staff-only briefing at the New America Foundation, Steve Coll discusses the death of Osama bin Laden, the implications of bin Laden's Pakistan residence and next steps for U.S. foreign policy and national security.

Highlights from the briefing are below. The full, hour-long video is available at the bottom of this page.

Steve Coll discusses bin Laden's residence in Abbottabad, noting that bin Laden must have gotten some level of local permission to build his house in the area.

ROOM FOR DEBATE: Should the U.S. Cut Off Aid to Pakistan?

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
May 10, 2011 |

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is a microcosm of international relations more broadly: talking about change has little correlation to actually achieving it.

Before the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the Government Accountability Office released a study criticizing the lack of progress in making aid to Pakistan more effective. Far less has been spent than promised, and far too few inspectors have been assigned to oversee implementation of the projects.

Bin Laden's Great Mistake: What Osama Never Understood About the American Spirit

  • By
  • Romesh Ratnesar,
  • New America Foundation
May 10, 2011 |

When President Barack Obama announced on May 1 that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was among those who headed to the White House. The mood in Lafayette Square was joyous, ebullient, cathartic — though hardly the bacchanal of vengeful jingoism that some in the media have portrayed it to be, or an expression of "orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed" as David Sirota claimed on Salon.com.

Dear China: Help Us Fix Pakistan

  • By
  • Patrick C. Doherty,
  • New America Foundation
May 9, 2011 |

The war of words is officially on. The killing of Osama bin Laden has shone a harsh light on the fraught U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Bin Laden's Poisonous Ideology Began to Wither on 9/11

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 9, 2011 |

Osama bin Laden long fancied himself something of a poet. His compositions tended to the morbid, and a poem written two years after 9/11 in which he contemplated the circumstances of his death was no exception. Bin Laden wrote, "Let my grave be an eagle's belly, its resting place in the sky's atmosphere amongst perched eagles."

Five Myths About Osama Bin Laden

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2011 |

Few individuals in recent history have exerted greater influence on world events than Osama bin Laden — and even fewer have elicited as much mythology. From the origins of the al-Qaeda terrorist network to the devastation of Sept. 11, 2001, to the manhunt that came to an end with such drama last Sunday, bin Laden's life has been shrouded in mysteries and misconceptions that will far outlive him.

1. The CIA created Osama bin Laden.

A Faltering Bargain with Pakistan

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
May 5, 2011 |

U.S.-Pakistan relations in recent years have been founded on a kind of bargain—an unstated and unstable bargain, but one that until this week seemed basically workable. The U.S. administration would turn a partially blind eye to the shelter given by Pakistan to the Afghan Taliban leadership; in return, Pakistan would genuinely cooperate against international terrorist plots directed at the American homeland. The location and death of Osama bin Laden in the vicinity of a Pakistan military academy calls that bargain, and the whole future of the American-Pakistani alliance, into question.

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