This is defter (more deft? mos deft?) foreign policy strategery than we have seen in some time:
Obama aides believe they can increasingly isolate bin Laden, as Obama’s personal appeal grows in the region and as he modifies or dismantles President George W. Bush’s security policies.
Administration officials also say Obama hopes to sap the appeal of terrorist organizations with his plans to close the military prison at Guantanamo, even though it probably won’t be completely empty by the one-year deadline he set. He also plans to end harsh interrogations for terror suspects, even though the president has left loopholes.
“A lot of their best recruiting tricks are being taken off the table,” said another White House official.
Obama also took dead aim at bin Laden’s frequent claim that the United States seeks to occupy the Middle East. Largely overlooked in Obama’s remarks in Cairo, he included a reminder that he plans no permanent military bases in Iraq, “and no claim on their territory or resources.”
Chess is a longer but ultimately more satisfying game; the fear-based game of checkers played over the past several years was only slightly less pointless than tic-tac-toe.