Is The Sun Setting On Al Qaeda?

Fawaz Gerges believes so:

If the Arab awakenings of the past year manage to fill the gap of legitimate political authority, they will annihilate the last dregs of Al-Qaeda and like-minded local branches. Only then will Al-Qaeda, like Osama bin Laden, not only die, but, finally, be allowed to die.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross sighs:

It’s not clear how awakenings in the Arab world can "annihilate" al Qaeda’s central leadership in Pakistan. How will the Arab uprisings annihilate al Shabaab in Somalia? And the chaos in Yemen has resulted in anything but an annihilation of AQAP. I have written previously about why the "Arab Spring" doesn’t inevitably sound the death knell for al Qaeda, and I won’t repeat those arguments here. Suffice it to say that it’s ironic that a piece asking us to critically assess the conventional wisdom to puncture fantasy in turn offers up its own set of seemingly unexamined myths.