May 16, 2011"As of early 2010, we assessed that al-Qaeda was at its weakest point since 2001. The successful assault on bin Laden's compound is a strong blow and important milestone on the way to al Qaeda's strategic defeat. But al Qaeda suffers additional fundamental challenges: The Arab Spring narrative presents al-Qaeda with a potent ideological challenge. For its entire existence, al-Qaeda's message has been that violence is the only path forward. It has never had an affirmative program - it could not have been further removed from and relevant to those who came to Tahrir Square in January." Tom Donilon, National Security Adviser to the President, remarks to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's annual dinner, May 12, 2011.