Last night, a raid ordered by President Trump is said to have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi. This article is not here to call this a bad thing, far from it. Even as someone who is normally against the death plenty I find it hard to not feel happy when it’s used on one of the biggest terrorists of the 2010s.
However, the question of how big a deal this is seems to be one the media is dropping the ball on.
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has called yesterday a “great day for everyone in the world.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper called the raid “a brilliantly executed operation.”
However, does this mean that some kind of utopia will be entered soon? Not likely, in fact, in the long run, this one action might not mean all that much at all.
Think back to 5/2/2011, the night Osama Bin Laden was killed? Once again, what has truly changed since that night over the past eight years? After Bin Laden was killed, Ayman al-Zawahiri took over as the leader of Al-Qaeda and it has been business as usual for them ever since.
A similar thing can be predicted about Al-Baghdadi. In August 2019, he even named a successor — a fellow by the name of Abdullah Qardash who will now lead the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant after the death of the former leader.
I expect this terrorist group to not go away for a least a while longer, and the Trump administration is making a giant mistake by saying this will be some kind of beginning of the end for ISIS.