"Bin Laden is certainly the leader of al Qaeda, certainly an important man in that organization, but one man does not make this war on terrorism" said Major General John Campbell, commander of U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan along the volatile border with Pakistan.
Usama bin Laden represents just one of the terrorist groups coalition forces are battling, Campbell said. The Taliban's Haqqani network, for example, is one of the biggest threats in the east right now. "I don't think the war is over and I don't think the loss of bin Laden will cause us to change our strategy," Campbell said.
On the up side, Campbell said, al-Qaeda has lost a charismatic leader leaving a void that could hurt the organizations ability to recruit new fighters and raise necessary funds for its operations. And despite some veiled threats of revenge killings, nothing of that sort has materialized. Campbell says he has not seen an uptick in violence or more foreign fighters flood across the Pakistan border since bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs on May 1st.
Campbell believes the new videos seized by those SEALs in bin Laden's compound and released by the CIA over the weekend showing bin Laden "alone" and looking "desperate" could cause fighters to questions their loyalty to the organization. "They are going to think twice now [and ask themselves] why was he in Pakistan when I'm suffering over here?" Campbell said.
That trend, Campbell hopes, will lead to more fighters laying down their weapons and reintegrating with Afghanistan's civil society.