In his televised speech to the nation Tuesday night, President Obama seemed ambivalent about US successes in Iraq, but he was quite clear about the goal of the Afghanistan war: to prevent that country from again being a base for terrorists.
This isn’t the whole story, though.
In August, the State Department reported that Al Qaeda had been adapting itself after suffering setbacks in Pakistan, where it is assumed that Osama bin Laden is still hiding. The group is creating strong proxies in other countries, especially in Yemen on the Saudi Peninsula, in hopes of attracting radicalized and Westernized Muslims to their cause. Such candidates could more easily penetrate the US and Europe.
Al Qaeda is “actively engaged in operational plotting against the United Stares and continued recruiting, training, and deploying operatives, including individuals from Western Europe and North America,” the report states. In fact, the US Justice Department recently indicted several US citizens that allegedly supported the Al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia, al Shabab.