I haven't posted to this blog since December 5, 2009, for two reasons: 1) I have been busy finishing my PhD dissertation on game theory and international law (it is now complete - my Oral Defence is on May 4th) and 2) the Dec. 5, 2009 post referred to three predictions for 2010 that I had made in a 2004 paper that I published in the Journal of Internet Law, and until today one of them still remained unresolved - the fate of Osama Bin Laden. Two of the three predictions for 2010 that I made in 2004 proved to be 100% true, i.e. that the war in Iraq would officially end (it did on August 31, 2010) and that three-dimensional virtual replicas of earth would end up being controlled by private corporations (see Google Earth 3D sketch-ups for example). The third prediction, concerning Osama has proven to be almost true - I predicted that he would be captured, tried and executed by the end of 2010, and in fact what has transpired today is that he has been captured and killed by US Navy Seals operating in a raid on a compound near Islamabad, Pakistan. I will count this prediction as about 90% right, since 4 months give or take in a long term 6 year prediction is really quite insignificant (equivalent to a margin of error of only about 5%). The trial part, of course, didn't occur and I should have forseen that given Osama's desire for martyrdom, but the upshot of my prediction was that the US would kill him by the end of 2010, and I was only 4 months off in that regard, which is quite amazing considering my prediction was made in early 2004 (a time when Facebook was just a student phenomenon limited to the Harvard campus and it was first revealed by the CIA that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq).
So Congratulations to President Obama and the team of intelligence experts and military personnel who have finally tracked down and eliminated this deadly adversary. One may well wonder why the Pakistani government, which undoubtedly knew of Osama's whereabouts since he only was 80 km from Islamabad, suddenly decided to cooperate with the US - one can speculate perhaps that it is directly or indirectly related to the pan-Arab revolutions occurring in the last few months. There is an interesting piece by Anne Applebaum on the fact that those Arab revolutions are more similar to the failed European movements of 1848, than to the successful rebellion against the Soviet yoke in 1989. This leads one to some speculation on whether the death of Osama Bin Laden actually represents the beginning of the winding up of the war on terrorism, or on the other hand, just a shifting of it to different theatres.