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Today's war on terror

For the past nine years, I've written an editorial on Sept. 11 asking the same question. What a relief I don't need to do it again this year.

That question was, "Where is Osama bin Laden?" It was getting hard to write, and, I imagine, hard to read. But I've long felt very strongly that killing the al Qaida leader was the imperative centerpiece of the war on terror. Failing to do so projected an image of a weak America, a lack of resolve, and added to the cult status of the terrorist.

No more.

The daring raid conducted by SEAL Team Six not only cut off the head of the beast of al Qaida, it captured enough intelligence in one fell swoop to bring the terrorist organization to its knees.

Does that mean terrorism is over? No, it doesn't. Terrorism is a tactic, and tactics can't be defeated. Ideas can't be eliminated.

But it means we have an opportunity to step back and assess the war on terror again. (Terror is another example of an idea that can never be defeated.)

We can't go on forever fighting ideas and building democracies where there were none. If we are serious about keeping the homeland safe, we can't be involved in two wars (some would say three, including Libya.) Instead of trying to build democracies, we need to stop being the world's policemen and construction crew, and focus on domestic issues while always having enough intelligence around the globe to detect threats.

We have earned the right to bring a lot of our brave fighting men and women home and use those resources in other ways. Theirs was a job well done, and now it's time to release them to caring for their own families again.

The 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11 will be a sad day, but we can take some solace in realizing we've finally accomplished what we originally set out to do: find those responsible, and make them face justice.

The Pioneer Journal editorial represents the collective voice of the paper's editorial board. Today's editorial was written by Steve Schulz, editor and publisher.