Seth Jones, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
"A year after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, most policy makers and pundits believe al Qaeda is near collapse. 'Another nail in the coffin,' one senior U.S. official told me after the death of an al Qaeda operative in Pakistan last month from a U.S. drone strike. In testimony before the Senate in February, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the core al Qaeda is likely becoming of 'symbolic importance.'
"This conclusion is presumptuous. As the administration looks eastward—a strategy that incorporates China's rise—underestimating al Qaeda would be a dangerous mistake. With a handful of regimes teetering from the Arab Spring, al Qaeda is pushing into the vacuum and riding a resurgent wave as its affiliates engage in a violent campaign of attacks across the Middle East and North Africa.
"Take a look around the Arab world.
"In Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has increased control in such provinces as Shabwah and Abyan, as the central government in Sana faces a leadership crisis and multiple insurgencies. From this sanctuary, al Qaeda continues to plot attacks against the U.S. homeland, according to U.S. government assessments, ranging from plans for bombs hidden in cameras and printer cartridges to ones surgically implanted in humans and animals."
Whole thing here.