Word from the Obama administration is that with al Qaeda spiritual leader Osama bin Laden dead, U.S. forces may now have found the fast-track to exit the Afghan occupation.
It won't be easy, and it will require more than just political capital in the U.S., but unnamed officials tell The Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran that, with a negotiated settlement between America and the Taliban, the Afghan war's "endgame" will be nigh.
On one key front, the president can now put negotiators at the table with Taliban forces without being criticized for "negotiating with terrorists," Chandrasekaran noted. On another, Taliban faction leader Mohammad Omar will likely be under tremendous pressure to end his alliance with al Qaeda, breaking another key barrier to U.S. withdrawal.
"Bin Laden’s death is the beginning of the endgame in Afghanistan," an unnamed senior official reportedly said. "It changes everything."