The problem with a warfare welfare state (or empire in our case), is that it needs conflict and debt to continue expanding. Once either of those things are omitted, the empire has no more reason to expand its interest that can be justified (no matter how poorly) no matter how you play it. Unlike the days of ancient Rome where expansion was justified to bring more glory to the state, expansion today is used to further interest. To a modern day republican or conservative, this means the stomping of evil no matter what evil you have to enact to get it. To a modern day liberal or democrat, it is ‘spreading freedom and democracy’ to make the world a better place. Despite the different wording however, both employ the same methodology to obtain the expansion of their interest.
The driving factor is that this was never a war against Bin Laden – he was a figure head sure enough, and an effective one. However history has proven time and time again that an ideal does not die with an individual. The thing about ideals, is that (pardon the cliché) they are indeed bulletproof. As long as a group of people live to see that the idea lives on, there will always be a clashing of interest. We have been fighting wars on terror for almost 100 years now – and have we ever really won? Has the idea of terrorism on any front vanished? No it has not.
So congratulations – I think. At a high price we managed to get one guy and a few of his cohorts. Now can anyone look me in the eye, and tell me it was worth it, and that now that he is dead and they are dead and captured, that everything will settle down, and something resembling sanity will set in? In the war of ideals and extremes, I do not see it as likely.