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Army Officer: Bin Laden's Death Is Not the End

In President Obama’s speech late Sunday night, he said, “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaida. But his death does not mark the end of our effort.” Connecticut resident Sgt. Maj. Caterina Veronesi of the U.S. Army agreed the American people must be cautious in their elation over Osama bin Laden’s death.

“It’s a victory, though a delayed victory,” said Veronesi. “In the grand scheme of things, he’s a leader, and when you’re a leader you have followers, so this doesn’t exactly kill the germ. There’s still a disease out there that’s part of a bigger thing.”

Veronesi was stationed in Baghdad, Iran, when Saddam Hussein was hanged in 2006 and she compared the two deaths. “Remnants of [Saddam] still remain in Iraq, not just him, but of that belief system,” she said. “Because of that we’ve got to still have our vigilance on high alert in the midst of all that is happening, and even more so because [bin Laden] was annihilated. There’s going to be some sort of backlash in some form and we’ve got to be ready.”

Veronesi works with Navy SEALs in Greenwich, Stamford and Wilton and said she plans to train them even harder. “We can’t take our eye off the objective so there will continue to be an aggressive dedication to our training,” she said.

It was a CIA-led Navy SEALs squadron who raided bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday and killed America’s most wanted terrorist.

The mission was a good one, said Veronesi, most importantly because the U.S. didn’t suffer any casualties. But she reiterated that there’s too much focus on the win. “If he was a smart leader he was already developing subordinate leadership in case of his death,” she said. “That’s how we train in the military, and I’m sure the enemy is doing that. That’s what keeps the hatred and conflict an ongoing process and a challenge for us as a nation.”

Do you agree with Sgt. Major Veronesi’s reaction? Comment below.

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