Seems like good news and bad news always come together. Thus any conclusions must inherently be ugly. Oh, well, here it is.
The good news:
That was the most amazing and unexpected good news last night: Osama bin Laden is dead.
My congratulations to the US Navy Seals for a job well done, and to the intelligence community that made this possible. Keep up the good work! It's not over yet, there are at least two more top figures to go: Al Zwahari, and that other creep in Yemen. Plus all their followers, protectors, and imitators.
The spontaneous celebrations I saw on television in NYC and DC proved one thing: we are all still Americans. That's something that has been almost totally obscured by the vicious politics in recent years. (Congress, please take note, and start doing the people's business again, instead of playing those destructive politics-as-usual games.)
Putting an end to bin Laden is the result of a sustained effort spanning two presidential administrations. My thanks to both gentlemen, and all those who serve or served under them.
The bad news:
According to the released information, bin Laden was living in a gigantic compound just down the street from the Pakistani military academy. We didn't tell the Pakistanis we were doing this. There were no security leaks in this operation. I don't find those 3 items to be coincidence.
As near as I can tell, the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban are the same web of organizations. They protected Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and I think they do in Pakistan, too. I believe the Pakistani Taliban not only controls large portions of Pakistan, they control a big portion of its government.
I'm hoping this upset will induce the non-Taliban Pakistanis to clean their house of Taliban and Al Qaeda, but I think that's a low probability outcome. The Taliban/Al Qaeda nuclear weapons will come from the Pakistani arsenal, I predict. The ties between the ISI (the Pakistani secret police and spy agency) and the Pakistani military on the one hand, and the Taliban/Al Qaeda groups on the other hand, are just too strong.
The authorities are right to warn us to be vigilant, that the risk of a terrorist revenge attack is high.
Sooner or later, somewhere in the US or Europe, they will strike back as hard as they can.
Sooner or later, the “terrorist nuke” really is a credible threat.