After Osama, a Balancing Act for President Obama

Newspapers announcing the death of accused 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden are seen at a newsstand outside the World Trade Center site May 2, 2011 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Asia Society President Vishakha Desai on the death of Osama bin Laden:

Osama bin Laden is dead. Many Americans might think the U.S. military presence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region should now end and that it should stop pouring billions of dollars into a regional strategy, which has been flawed at best over many years. However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that America’s efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan won’t change. And, she continues to offer an olive branch to all forces in the region who are willing to make the choice for peace and support the rise of democracy. President Barack Obama has to balance claims of victory with the pursuit of his administration’s military and civilian strategy. How he does this is the question of the day. How the Islamic world generally, and extremist and insurgent elements in particular, will react to bin Laden’s killing also hangs in the balance.

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Dan Washburn is Asia Society's Chief Content Officer. The Financial Times named his book, The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream, one of the best of 2014.