‘The Devil Has a Companion’

by Jim Talent

When it was announced that Hitler had died, my grandmother commented: “The Devil has a companion.” Thanks to our heroic American special operations forces, the Devil has yet another companion.

Many people are commenting that this event, while satisfying, portends no major change in what President Obama refuses to call the War on Terror. But it could portend such a change if it triggered a long overdue examination of America’s goal in this War.

Strategic war aims should be clear, should address the imperative that led to the war in the first place, and should be something that a broad cross section of people can support.

The War on Terror began with an asymmetric attack on the United States by a fanatical group of Islamic extremists. The interest at stake in this war is the most fundamental a nation can have: defense of the homeland against an existential threat.

I suggest we celebrate bin Laden’s demise by agreeing on the first and most important national war aim: eliminate the danger that bin Laden’s followers and friends can successfully use asymmetric weapons against the United States again.

— Jim Talent is a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation and served as a U.S. senator from Missouri.

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