"Merely considering the perspective of the 'cost-benefit basis' alone Osama bin Laden ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MEN IN ALL OF HISTORY?"
Extracted from the Internet web site "Small Wars Journal" and copied largely in entirety from an article by John Arquilla.
"Three Ghosts Who Haunt Modern Strategy"
As was the topic of a previous blog entry, the person of Osama bin Laden his significance to modern world history can hardly be minimized.
According to John Arquilla:
"The third apparition haunting global strategy and policy is that of Osama bin Laden (1957–2011). The man who started history's first great war between nations and networks is only five years dead, yet it is already clear that he is—in an ominously Dickensian sense—the ghost of conflicts to come. His demise seems only to have scattered the seeds of networked insurgency and terrorism—old and new—across the globe: from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan to al Qaeda 'franchises' everywhere; from the quickly metastasizing ISIS splinter group in Syria and Iraq to Boko Haram in Nigeria; from Jemaah Islamiya and the Abu Sayyaf group in Southeast Asia to Hizb ut-Tahrir around the globe. The list goes on and on, with countless small cells—such as those that spawned recent attacks in Paris and Brussels—operating throughout Europe and the rest of the world."
"Aside from having set the course for globally networked terrorism, Osama bin Laden has, with his death, done much to keep counter-terrorist strategy firmly misdirected. For if Napoleon's ghost encourages an over-reliance on sheer force, and Billy Mitchell's spirit wails 'No boots on the ground!' Osama bin Laden's spectral presence deceives many around the world into thinking that the assassination of terrorist leaders can bring their organizations to the verge of strategic defeat, as former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was wont to say."
"Nothing could be further from the truth. The so-called Global War on Terror has morphed into terror's war on the world. And the ghost of bin Laden no doubt smiles a chilling smile at the notion that counter-terrorist efforts to defeat networks can succeed by taking out their 'leaders,' such as Abu Sayyaf, the ISIS oilman killed last year in an American special operations raid in eastern Syria, and ISIS's number two man, Mustafa al-Qaduli, who was killed this past March.6 The greatest strength of networks lies, after all, in their members' ability to pursue a common goal without much (if any) central control. Failure to appreciate this is the first step on the path to defeat—at ruinous cost."
Fourth-Generation warfare as it is deemed in all manifestations having been institutionalized by Osama and his minions as a form of conflict favored and preferred and not merely an adjunct to conventional war!
NAPOLEON AND BILLY MITCHELL THOSE OTHER TWO "APPARITIONS" AS MOST RELEVANT TO MODERN AMERICAN "GLOBAL STRATEGY AND POLICY".