What does 'strategically defeating Al Qaeda' really mean?

Newly appointed United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has announced that the U.S. is "within reach of strategically defeating Al Qaeda". He also said that America will narrow its focus and concentrate on capturing or killing 10 to 20 Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

Panetta is an Obama favorite and loyalist and a long-time Washington insider who understands how politics work. He can be counted on to put the best possible spin on events for the President as the 2012 election draws nearer. Whatever he says about anything should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism because it will probably have more to do with getting Obama re-elected than reality, spin being spin and smoke and mirrors being smoke and mirrors.

So Leon, what does strategically defeating Al Qaeda really mean and how does it differ from actually defeating the terrorist monsters? If Al Qaeda isn't defeated in actuality how is strategically defeating it going to prevent it from attacking the United States yet again? How is strategically defeating it (whatever that means) going to prevent it from continually spewing out its poison? Is use of the word strategically nothing more than a cynical public relations ploy calculated to lower American's expectations? Since Al Qaeda won't be actually defeated on Obama's watch perhaps he can mollify and fool voters by claiming to strategically defeat it. Is that why you used the word, to mollify and fool voters?

Is narrowing the U.S. focus to capturing or killing 10 to 20 Al Qaeda leaders part of the same line of thinking? After all, every time someone is captured or killed it gives Obama an opportunity to put his public relations machine into high gear and trumpet his strategic triumph to the skies, even though in the grand scheme of things it will prevent nothing and make no difference at all...capturing or killing someone being much easier than effectively dealing with the anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Semitic animus on which Al Qaeda thrives and which is the root cause of attacks on America and its friends and allies in the first place. Since Obama can't defeat Al Qaeda before the next election capturing or killing someone wil give him a chance to take credit for a victory, small, insignificant and meaningless though it may be. Is that the thinking?

Good questions all.

Here are a few more.

Is talking about strategically defeating Al Qaeda and narrowing the focus really an admission of failure, an admission that it won't actually be defeated under Obama and that occasionally capturing or killing a leader is all American's can expect?

Sure it is.

Is talking about strategically defeating Al Qaeda like talking about strategically balancing the budget and does it deserve the same reaction?

Yes and yes.

Does Obama really believe ha can get away with this bull...?

Unfortunately he does.