Few, if any, understand what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan better than Republican Congressman and retired Army veteran Allen West of Florida (photo, left). In a speech Tuesday to the Heritage Foundation, he declared:

For longtime readers of The New American, the fact that President George W. Bush immediately looked to Pakistan as the prime ally in waging the War on Terror after 9/11 was an eye-opener.

The name “Katmandu” brings up images of Lost Horizons and Shangri La and, perhaps, the Abominable Snowman. Katmandu is the capital of Nepal, a nation nestled within the Himalayan Mountains and sandwiched between the two most populous nations on the planet, China and India. Although imbued with the doctrines of Hinduism, the politics of Nepal is emphatically not other-worldly. In 2008, the national parliament was elected with the mission of ending the monarchy and producing a new constitution for the nation.

Now that America’s decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden is over, al-Qaeda’s hunt to replace him is just beginning. 

Several names have been suggested as competitors for the helm of al-Qaeda. The problem faced by all of them, however, is inherent in the structure of the organization itself. As described by al-Qaeda insider Khalid al-Hammadi, al-Qaeda’s modus operandi is “centralization of decision and decentralization of execution.” This purposeful fracturing of command and control infrastructure makes consolidation of power very difficult.

Apart from the extreme height of the walls and the barbed wire with which they were topped, there was nothing particularly distinctive about the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was reported to have lived and died.

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