Juan Cole this morning has an excellent summary of where we are seven years after 9/11. His main point is that the original al-Qaeda is defeated. Usamah Bin Laden’s original voice hasn’t been heard from in four years, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two man, is alive and kicking but is mainly playing wolf and offers no “genuine accomplishments in recent times save the ability of the top leadership to elude capture!”.
On the other hand, the Taliban in Afghanistan are increasingly strong but “do not pose the threat of international terrorism, though they may give safe harbor to individuals from abroad that do.” The locals in Afghanistan increasingly distrust the US and NATO as this Aljazeera video demonstrates:
Rather than sending more US troops to Afghanistan, “a fool’s errand”, we should realize that the locals are right and that more Afghan troops are the answer.