Osama bin Laden is Dead

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 1 2011 11:02 PM

Osama bin Laden is Dead

My colleague John Dickerson has confirmed that Osama bin Laden has been killed, and that the United States has the body. The president will speak about the facts of this very shortly.

My first thought -- well, second thought, after the gratitude I'm feeling towards the people who've fought and died in Afghanistan for nine and a half years -- is that public support for further action in Afghanistan is going to erode, quickly. Barack Obama ran, as John Kerry had ran, on a sort of zero sum approach to the war on terror. The war in Iraq had been a distraction from the war in Afghanistan, costing us a lot, and costing us a chance to kill bin Laden. If we shifted resources from Iraq to Afghanistan, we could win the war -- and in a lot of minds, "win the war" meant catching bin Laden. For many Americans, the death of bin Laden will have ended the war, and I don't see where the enthusiasm comes from for any further commitment to the country as the surge ends. And then there's the rest of the AfPak strategy we've been pursuing since Obama took office.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.