Oliver North
QUANTICO, Va. -- Here at this sprawling Marine Corps base south of our nation's capital, nothing has changed since Osama bin Laden met his demise in Pakistan. Thousands of Marines here at the "Crossroads of the Corps" are still waking up at "Oh-Dark-Thirty," going about their duties, running for miles, lifting weights and tossing each other about in hand-to-hand-combat drills.

Apparently these American heroes are unaware that Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass; Carl Levin, D-Mich.; and even Dick Lugar, R-Ind., and a host of others up the road in Washington, D.C., have decided that bin Laden's death means the war in Afghanistan has been won and most of our troops need to come home ASAP.

Here in the United States, politicians and pundits across the political spectrum are now saying that bin Laden's death means we can hasten our withdrawal from Afghanistan; that we can now make dramatic reductions in defense spending; and that we should cut off all military, economic, humanitarian and intelligence support to Pakistan.

According to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Kerry, the bin Laden operation "provides a potentially game-changing opportunity to build momentum for a political solution" and move to "achieving the smallest footprint possible in Afghanistan."

In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers wrote to the White House claiming bin Laden's death "requires us to examine our policy of nation building in Afghanistan." They insist "it is no longer the best way to defend America against terror attacks, and we urge you to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan that are not crucial to the immediate national security objective of combating al-Qaida."

This all has to be music to the ears of Vice President Joe Biden, long an opponent of the counter-insurgency campaign advocated by Gen. David Petraeus. Count on the VEEP to make this argument in the days ahead as the administration decides how many U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan this summer. It's exactly the wrong message for our friends and enemies in the world's most volatile region.

There is no doubt that the May 2 Spec Ops mission taking out bin Laden was a dramatic success and an example of unique U.S. capabilities. Unfortunately, the administration's decision to reap a political and public relations windfall from the operation has adverse implications for protecting U.S. interests in Pakistan and checking Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

In Baghdad, radical Shiite factions are claiming the U.S. has no further need of a military presence in Iraq. And in Pakistan, those who have cooperated with American and military officials in the past are finding it more difficult to do so.


Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.