Success Against al-Qaeda Cited U.S. and international intelligence officials say that improved recruitment of spies inside the al-Qaeda network, along with increased use of targeted airstrikes and enhanced assistance from cooperative governments, has significantly reduced the terrorist organization's effectiveness... The senior administration official said that more "surgical" missile attacks on terrorist leaders in their inaccessible Pakistani mountain sanctuaries and elsewhere had been increasingly successful and had largely avoided the civilian casualties that had been a source of anti-American sentiment. A total of 39 such attacks have been launched between January and mid-September, according to news reports, compared with 36 under the Bush administration in 2008. The official also pointed to "progress we've made in other places," particularly in Somalia, where U.S. Special Forces conducted a raid this month -- with helicopters launched from a naval vessel -- that included an unprecedented ground landing to retrieve the bodies of the four alleged terrorists who were killed. They included the target of the attack, Saleh Ali Nabhan, a leader of the Somali insurgent group al-Shabaab, which was allegedly involved in the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa... ...other governments and intelligence services "have been much more amenable to cooperating with Washington because of the new image that has been projected" by Obama. "I don't want to criticize the previous administration, because they were equally motivated," he said, "but cooperating too closely with Americans at that time tainted them." "If the United States is heavily engaged in certain activities, whether on the ground, air or sea, it requires cooperation with certain countries," the official said. "Over the last nine months . . . the environment has been much more conducive to cooperation." And there you go. Or, as everyone's grandma knows, you catch more flies with honey.