By getting a suicide bomber inside a CIA base, the al-Qaeda network showed that it remains a sophisticated adversary, despite intense pressure from CIA Predator attacks. "They didn't get lucky, they got good and we got sloppy all over Afghanistan," says one agency counterterrorism veteran. …Rule No. 1 in any war: Don’t underestimate the enemy. The opposite is true too: Don’t overestimate the enemy to the point of overreaction or paralysis. A balance has to be found in between.
The Khost attack shows that the al-Qaeda network, though badly wounded, remains a wily and resourceful foe. The inescapable conclusion is that the CIA and its allies need to lift their game.