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Before al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed, there was seemingly little enthusiasm among most Americans for this country’s decade-long war against al-Qaida worldwide and against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

With the death of bin Laden, however, the general public mood has spontaneously changed, with many people evidently believing that a singular victory of long-lasting importance has been achieved in America’s wars.

The American people’s reversal on the wars in the euphoric aftermath of bin Laden’s demise should enable the Obama administration to prosecute hostilities this year and for an indefinite period afterward, largely unencumbered by public dissent. But the American people should not naively assume the worst with the wars is over.

The wars will go on — without bin Laden — just as they have, for the most part, the last several years.

Parkersburg, West Virginia

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

patrick hattman

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