U.S. could suffer retribution, strained relationship with Pakistan, global politics expert says

05/02/2011 06:07 PM

While Osama Bin Laden’s death represents an end of one era in the country’s War on Terror, the nation’s leaders must now pivot to Pakistan, said international relations expert and University of Louisville professor Rodger Payne.

Payne is the Director for the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

He said Bin Laden’s death is major milestone in the United States’ battle against terrorism. But it might precipitate more small-scale attacks against the United States and its allies, he added.

“The kinds of things where it’s one guy or a two or three team doing something in a particular building or train, you know those are very difficult to overcome,” Payne said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a small uptick in that kind of violence.” (See this at the 7:25 mark of the video)

Payne says everyone was surprised by the news of Bin Laden’s death and the fact that he had been living in a large, secure compound in an affluent city near the Pakistani capital. Those facts, combined with an already strained relationship between the United States and Pakistan could make relations with that country difficult in the coming months, he said.

“The U.S. has long suspected that Pakistani intelligence, you know, helped to foster some of the same Jihadi movements, mostly operating against India, but still the same networks that essentially the U.S. is trying to round up in the underside border area,” Payne said. “It’s always complicated when the U.S. is dealing with Pakistan.” (See this at the 0:10 mark of the video)

President Barack Obama might get some credit among U.S. citizens and world leaders for being commander-in-chief when Bin Laden was killed, Payne said.

“It’s possible that he’ll reap some reward domestically from this. After all, to his credit in 2008 when he was running for president, part of his big critique was that Iraq wasn’t really part of the war on terror,” Payne said. “Afghanistan was. We need to go focus there, clean it up, capture or kill Bin Laden.” (See this at the 4:00 mark of the video)

Bin Laden’s death may pave the way out of Afghanistan, Payne said, but at this point it’s hard to tell what the United States immediate future is in the Middle East.

Payne said, however, that the war in Iraq may have caused the long delay between the 9/11 terror attacks and the killing of Bin Laden.



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