Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama bin Laden - May 1, 2011

Late last night when I was writing this post, the news of Osama bin Laden came over the TV. I decided to wait until this morning to make this post.

It is a moment for reflection on the importance of vigilance and a long view towards the situation we face as James Carafano has advocated.

We must be grateful as a nation for all the dedicated professionals who have maintained their pursuit of bin Laden and for the bravery of our military and civilians that carried out and supported the operation.

It also demonstrates that we have the will as a nation to pursue our national interest over the long run.

Ironically two weeks ago, I was privileged to attend a seminar called "Terrorism - The Thinking Man's Game" at MIPT in Oklahoma City.

Tim Manning from FEMA opened the seminar on Monday, April 18th. The seminar was attended by many other well recognized figures in the field. Brian Jenkins from Rand and Mike Walker from Naval Postgraduate School gave major presentations on the current status of terrorism in our world.

Frank Cilluffo, Vice President at The George Washington University facilitated the day and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin addressed the group at lunch.

The news of bin Laden's death is a reminder that we are confronting ideologies and not traditional nation states. These ideologies in the context of 21st century globalization create an environment that calls for vigilance, determination, and professionalism in the pursuit of securing our people.

The Oklahoma City Memorial Museum provides an incredibly detailed account of the domestic terrorism bombing, the investigation, and the aftermath of the event in 1995. I try to go there whenever I'm in town to refocus my attention on the task at hand.

The seminar was followed the next day by the Annual Memorial Ceremony remembering those who were killed, survived, or affected by the Murrah Building bombing on April 19th, 1995.

Tim Manning participated in the ceremony and read some of the names of the 168 victims.

It was a fitting venue to refocus on the issue of terrorism and continue to call attention to the vigilance required to prevent terrorism.

The news of bin Laden will evoke many emotions, but we must remain cool headed in the moment.
The death of Osama bin Laden is an important milestone in the world's struggle with terrorism and should be a moment of relief for our nation.

It is also a sobering reminder that we must be quietly on our guard in the coming weeks and months because he was only a symbol of a larger narrative.

Thanks for checking in.

Dennis R. Schrader