Panetta to inherit Afghanistan dilemma ... With Americans still coming home in flag-draped caskets from Iraq, CIA director Leon Panetta revealed a surprising – and to many, no doubt, confusing – fact. "There are 1,000 al-Qaeda that are still in Iraq," he said. "We saw the attack that was just made the other day. It too continues to be a fragile situation." That's right - 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq where the U.S. has fewer than 50,000 troops. In Afghanistan, where there are twice as many American troops, intelligence estimates put the number of al Qaeda at no more than 100, reports CBS News senior national security correspondent David Martin. – CBS
Dominant Social Theme: It's a long, hard road to victory.
Free-Market Analysis: Americans are war-weary but Leon Panetta (left) sees reasons to fight on. Al-Qaeda is still active and as long as al-Qaeda exists (see above article excerpt) America needs to fight. The struggle is taking place "Over There," so Americans do not have to fight al-Qaeda "Over Here." CIA Director Panetta made his remarks on Capitol Hill where he attended a hearing regarding his confirmation as Secretary of Defence.
But as we shall explore in this article, something else needs to be done because the apparently phony War on Terror is not providing the momentum for militarism that, say, Germany provided during World War II. As a dominant theme it is proving unconvincing for the moment. The West cannot count on the al-Qaeda threat as currently constituted to continue to justify the trillions that the wars are costing.