Killing Osama Bin Laden is no longer essential, according to Barack Obama in a new CBS interview with Katie Couric. "My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him," the President-elect stated, "but if we have so tightened the noose that he's in a cave somewhere and can't even communicate with his operatives then we will meet our goal of protecting America."
Obama’s statements represent a growing sentiment in Washington that Osama bin Laden’s influence is weakening. Recently, a new audio tape reportedly containing bin Laden’s voice was made public and immediately dismissed by the White House, described by a spokesman as demonstrating bin Laden’s “isolation and continued attempts to remain relevant at a time when Al-Qaeda's ideology, mission, and agenda are being questioned and challenged throughout the world.”
In the CBS interview, President-elect Obama went on to outline his perspective on how bin Laden should be handled:
"I think that we have to so weaken [bin Laden's] infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function, and I'm confident that we can keep them on the run and ensure that they cannot train terrorists to attack our homeland."
These comments are in contrast to what Obama stated in an October 7th presidential debate, when he insisted that "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority." But although Obama is no longer so concerned with bin Laden, he remains focused on Afghanistan as a top priority. He told Katie Couric, “Our real focus has to be on Afghanistan, the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we have to put as much pressure on them as possible.”
Obama on bin Laden
Obama on bin Laden (continued)
OPPOSING VIEWS ASKS: Is Osama bin Laden still a threat to the United States?
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