What Bin Laden's Death Means: Seven Observations

Osama Bin Laden1) This is a great moment in American history. There is justice in the world. But where is Ayman al-Zawahiri? Capturing the al Qaeda number-two would close this chapter almost entirely.

2) Pakistan has a great deal of explaining to do -- how could Bin Laden have been living near Islamabad, in a city, Abbotttabad, that is in some ways a military cantonment? This operation will only confirm for many people that Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, knew more about the al Qaeda presence in its country then it shared with the U.S..

3) President Obama has laid to rest, at least for everyone not named Donald Trump, the notion that he is some sort of soft-on-terror, Manchurian-candidate stealth-Muslim.

4) American deterrent power is partially restored. The lesson for terrorists: If you commit an act of violence against America, this country will hunt you down until you are dead or in chains.

5) Islamist terrorism is not over. Bin Laden was not an operator, nor was he seemingly in control of operators. Cells may be activated in the coming days, individuals with jihadist goals might take action. This is a dangerous moment. An inevitable moment, but a dangerous one.

6) Al Qaeda is a diminished force, as a terrorist entity. But its ideas will remain potent among a small minority of Muslims, disaffected males in European countries among them.

7) If President Obama is seeking a quicker exit strategy from Afghanistan, he now has one.