Memo to Osamaists: if you’re preparing for the final glorious apocalyptic battle against the infidel, you may not want to choose terrain where you’re surrounded by three different hostile nuclear powers.I’m not sure this is a good analysis. If your real goal is to immanetize the eschaton, setting up a situation where only divine intervention can carry the day would seem to be the best strategy. On the other side, if your cause has lost divine favor, maybe you’re better off dead. While the rulers of the Saudi Entity have used religion in a cynical way from the founding of the Entity, Osama bin Laden and his associates seem to take their religion at face value (this is of course one of the primary reasons for the hostility between bin Laden and the House of Saud).
On the other hand, one could make the argument that trying to force Armageddon before its originally scheduled time is as hubristic an act as can be contemplated, something that is profoundly impious. That would make a last stand in Pakistan a desperate “drive up the middle” bid for secular power. The strategic assumption is that the West, and particularly America, would not be willing to engage in genocidal conflict with a nuclear armed Al Qaeda. In a way, our victories in Afghanistan and Iraq would re-enforce this view. Despite the cries in the West at the wanton destruction of those wars, both conflicts were almost bloodless compared to other conflicts there since WWII. The Coalition took casualties and military setbacks rather than conduct a total war style campaign, a bit of reticence that would never occur to Al Qaeda. Would that same reticence save them in Pakistan? After all, they defeated Russia in Afghanistan before, the Americans are weak and the UN will stop India.