The anti-terror efforts of U.S agencies “were sometimes energetic and sometimes effective,” the report said. “But the United States did not, before 9/11, adopt as a clear strategic objective the elimination of al-Qaida.”
That's how Osama bin Laden figured he and his fellow terrorists could kill Americans without suffering any consequences.
The story has been different since the 2001 attacks. American resolve to defeat al-Qaida has produced an impressive string of now-deceased al-Qaida leaders who learned how tenacious and ingenious a foe they had aroused. Any countries that harbor al-Qaida or its sympathizers also know that America's anti-terror war doesn't stop at their borders. The Obama administration has been strong in its efforts.
Al-Qaida has lost its safe base of operations and many of its top leaders, but it remains dangerous, through sympathizers and affiliates. The key questions about the attack in Libya: Was a U.S. ambassador murdered by an al-Qaida affiliate and, if so, how will the U.S. respond?
It's been a while since we wrote the words war on terror. That's a phrase repeated so often that for some Americans it has lost its power.
Call it what you will, America remains at war with al-Qaida and with terrorists across the globe. This isn't a war that ends neatly with a decisive battle or a strategic withdrawal. Al-Qaida and its ilk are patient. Terrorists probe for vulnerabilities, exploit opportunities to kill Americans. Those who plotted and carried out this fierce attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi will be waiting and watching. They may hope for a slackening of American resolve. Let them be disappointed.
— Chicago Tribune