The myth that the death of Osama bin Laden was a mortal blow for al-Qaida seems to be debunked more with every passing day.
Our military options in Syria are limited because some of the groups fighting Bashar al-Assad are backed by al-Qaida. We do not want to topple his government if it results in a new government run by fanatical terrorists.
We are on the horns of a dilemma - do we negotiate with Russia to allow a monster who has gassed his own people to remain in power? Or do we strike militarily and then aid and arm the rebels - some of whom are aligned with al-Qaida?
Bin Laden's successor as head of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, also used the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to urge terrorists to continue attacking the United States to weaken our economy.
USA Today quoted al-Zawhri's message as saying, in part, "To keep up the hemorrhage in America's security and military spending, we need to keep the United States on a constant state of alert about where and when the next strike will blow.
"We must bleed America economically by provoking it, so that it continues its massive expenditures on security. America's weak spot is its economy, which began to totter from the drain of its military and security expenditure."
So there is no question that al-Qaida continues to exist to commit acts of terrorism. And there is no doubt that our country is its main target.
The only certainty in the whole situation is that we are going to be fighting terrorism for years to come. And, despite what al-Zawahiri says, we can afford to do so.
Frankly, we can't afford not to.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.