James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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TWE on Camera: What Does Bin Laden’s Death Mean for Politics Here at Home?

by James M. Lindsay
May 2, 2011

A man carries an American flag while walking to join a crowd gathered to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden at the construction site at Ground Zero in New York on May 2, 2011.

A man carries an American flag while walking to join a crowd gathered at Ground Zero in New York on May 2, 2011 to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden. (Finbarr O'Reilly/courtesy Reuters)

CFR.org posted a video interview I did on what Osama bin Laden’s death means for politics back here at home. Two points: Obama’s approval ratings will benefit briefly from a rally-’round-the-flag effect, and proponents of shifting from a counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan to a counter-terrorism one will gain a wider hearing.

Click here to view this video on YouTube.

A news day like today’s highlights the depth and breadth of the talent in CFR’s David Rockefeller Studies Program. My colleagues have been busy since late last night analyzing the many consequences (and non-consequences) of bin Laden’s death. They don’t always agree. Heck, sometimes they flatly contradict each other. But they all always offer analysis worth reading. Here is just some of what they had to say:

CFR President Richard Haass discussed bin Laden’s death on “Morning Joe.”

Richard Haass, Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose, and CFR.org Editor Robert McMahon discussed bin Laden’s death with the press.

Elliott Abrams argues in a blog post and a video interview that bin Laden’s death and the Arab Spring will undermine al-Qaeda’s power in the Middle East.

Steven Cook argues in a blog post and a video interview that Osama’s death does not mean the end of extremism. Mohamad Bazzi agrees.

Richard Falkenrath thinks that bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad spells trouble for U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Max Boot argues that bin Laden’s death shows why we need to stick with a counter-insurgency strategy.

Joel Hirst says that today is a day to celebrate justice being served.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon worries that bin Laden’s death will increase the political pressure in the United States to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Five CFR scholars discuss the future of al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism.

As always, CFR.org offers an array of background resources on al-Qaeda and the man who until twenty-four hours ago led it. To better understand why U.S-Pakistani relations are so complicated, check out CFR’s Crisis Guide: Pakistan along with this timeline of our bilateral relations.

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