How come Chatty Cathy hasn’t put out any new videos since we torched that madrassa a couple of weeks ago? Is he dead?
Even better, says Stratfor:
The lack of a communiqué from al-Zawahiri is much more likely the result of a conscious decision to maintain radio silence because of a breach in al Qaeda’s operational security net. In other words, al-Zawahiri has likely survived, and is trying to stay beneath the radar. The strike in Chingai, while it did not eliminate al-Zawahiri, must have come very close to doing so…
Al Qaeda’s move deeper underground shows that U.S. intelligence has come very close to triangulating the likely location of al Qaeda’s global headquarters…
The two airstrikes have provided U.S. intelligence with a wealth of information, which the United States can use to pinpoint not just the places frequented by al-Zawahiri and his associates but also his actual hideout, as well as other key al Qaeda facilities that probably lie much deeper in the NWFP [Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan]. This poses a dilemma for al Qaeda, which does not have the luxury to simply shift from one location to another, and this would again explain the decision to go offline…
Al Qaeda’s leaders are likely hiding very close to if not in a heavily populated area that is quite far from the Afghan-Pakistani border. This is actually the best defense the jihadists have in their arsenal; they believe it is unlikely that U.S. forces would conduct a strike so deep inside Pakistan and in an area so densely populated.
On the other hand, the Blotter says senior AQ operatives in North Waziristan, emboldened by the public outcry over the madrassa bombing, are practically wearing Osama lapel pins and no one’s doing a thing to stop them.
You know who I bet would know exactly what to do in this situation? James Baker.
Update: Our allies.
Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, has said in private briefings to foreign ministers of some Nato member states that the Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan and Nato is bound to fail. He has advised against sending more troops.
Western ministers have been stunned. “Kasuri is basically asking Nato to surrender and to negotiate with the Taliban,” said one Western official who met the minister recently.