Originally Posted by guage
I'm of the opinion it back fired on him as well as his plan for fighting in Afghanistan.
If he's savvy, it is to the mind of the Muslim world, not the western world.
Bin laden was training (IIRC) a couple thousand fighters per year in Afghanistan. All of them were trained in combat and most were also trained to recruit untrained cadres back home and select the best for training in Afghanistan.
By these methods and with the full cooperation of Afghanistan, great financial support from UAE and KSA princes, and abundant support from Pakistani military and intelligence, OBL's organization was on an exponential growth curve. Had he continued that for as little as another year or less he would have had the means and support to topple KSA and virtually owned the west. If he had continued on his growth curve for a few more years and maintained support by attacking low-importance, high-profile overseas targets (warships, embassies, diplomats, servicemembers, allies), he could have set all of Islam on a path to Jihad by raising a pan-Muslim army with a string of world-wide victories.
Instead, he attacked the one nation that had prided itself on having a secure homeland and an invincible military and the willingness to use it. Why did he attack? because of the history of the USA from Carter (Iran hostages), to Reagan (Beirut fiasco), to Clinton (write the list). Also the demonstrated ability to defeat the USSR through guerilla warefare. In each case Bin Laden saw a vastly greater power defeated by a weak and poorly defined non-gov entity.
Bin Laden made the classic mistake of all politicians, he thought that correlation was causation.
What has been the result of Bin Laden's action?
1. Nearly complete loss of the top 3 echelons of Al Qaeda. The folks who occupy those positions now are recent arrivals.
2. Extremely difficult and dangerous communications within his organization resulting in discoordinated efforts in all phases of activity including Bin Laden's essential irrelavence to Al Qaeda.
3. Extremely difficult and dangerous transfer of funding. Not even monks in vows of poverty survive without money. Local terrorism is cheap while international terrorism is expensive.
4. Lack of formal training of recruits since 2001. The trained cadre has been decimated from the top.
5. Loss of formal support from the govs of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Loss of most informal support from UAE & KSA. Active suppression and arrest of Al Qaeda in KSA. Active suppression of KSA mullahs who formerly preached support of Al Qaeda.
6. Active counter-terrorism activites in almost all Muslim countries, all western democracies, even France.