"When it comes down to dealing with counterterrorism you may, on occasion, be able to target some significant figures, but you're not going to be able to suppress al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula simply by striking a few leaders," said Anthony Cordesman, strategy chairman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Pentagon's former director of intelligence assessment. "And your ability to target those leaders will be effective but lack the human intelligence and forward support you've had in the past. There is no short-term indication that you have a good, stable solution to counterterrorism in Yemen."
"Many Afghan officials and officers, and allied officers and diplomats, are at best confused and at worst privately believe that we will leave," Mr. Cordesman said. "Any visitor to Afghanistan also sees efforts at every level to rush operations in time to meet November 2010 and July 2011 reporting deadlines. The end result is that a vague de facto deadline exists."