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Hunt For Bin Laden: Getting The Right President

A week ago, the UK's Times Online published an article in which the details were as shallow as the accompanying headline, which read, "Get Osama Bin Laden before I leave office, orders George W. Bush." The article was penned with numerous anonymous intelligence sources offering their conjecture as to why the current push to target al-Qaeda Senior Leadership (AQSL) inside Pakistan should be attributed to President Bush's desperate drive to solidify that segment of his legacy.

Any informed observer will note that they got the target right but the president wrong. There can be little debate that the current push to increasingly target AQSL - namely Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri - is because the tenure of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf may well be nearing its ultimately inevitable end. And when Musharraf goes, so goes much of Pakistan's cooperation with the United States in permitting strikes against senior al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership within Pakistani territory.

In an interview with Crane Durham on the Allman & Crane Show on 97.1 FM Talk in St. Louis this past Friday morning, I made this observation. One that, frankly, I just do not hear from Washington.

[To download the interview audio, click here or right-click, then select 'Save Target As'.]

Over at The Corner on National Review Online, Larry Kudlow had said last week, "I really like the sound of all this, but I’d like to know if people more knowledgeable than I am about such things read any significance into it."

The short answer is yes, there is significance to the reality of the increased tempo of what has been an ongoing hunt. But it must be a "yes" qualified with proper attribution to the end of Musharraf's presidency, not George W. Bush's. One is an easier sell and the other is simply more correct.

A more detailed analysis will be published shortly.

UPDATE: Now published: PrincipalAnalysis - The Clock Ticks for the President.