In other wars, an Army has merely to destroy the will to fight from the enemy, usually through destruction of their combat arms. In doing so, we dictate the terms of surrender. Terms are reached because the physical strength of the victor outweighs that of the vanquished. The consequence of failure to meet the terms of the surrender is... what? Usually the vanquished have experienced widespread destruction of infrastructure, resources, and manpower. So what is it then, the threat of force behind the action? The answer is total annihilation. If war is the use of force to compel state action, then the ultimate penalty of non-compliance is total destruction; the endgame is death.
We pride ourselves in this country on a sense of impartiality when it comes to religion. The constitution forbids the establishment of religion, and a growing number of Americans no longer consider themselves religious. Why then do I see a religious motive in the sparing of the Afghani people? Because that is indeed what our war is, a suspension of the final threat. It is why the Afghan/Pakistani Pushtuns still have the will to fight. They have no fear of the final outcome of war, because we as a country no longer consider the threat behind war to be real. They know that we will eventually tire of this conflict and retreat without even considering this option.
The American Empire is ruled by love. Love towards our fellow man. This is the Genius of Osama Bin Laden, a visionary of what it takes to defeat the unassailable Empire. Our Combat Arms can take on any enemy and defeat them with ease. Our weakness is our moral. bin Laden has recognized that the country has suspended the worst punishment, and that is takes much more energy to build than it does to kill. To me, this represents a triumph of Jesus Christ in American culture. When Hume outlined the Natural History of Religion, I think he was visionary about the future. We are moving towards the Post Religious world. Perhaps this will mean the end of American Empire