There just isn't any threat there.
Well I wouldn't go that far, on the other hand I'd argue the threat is minimal compared to that posed by the Soviets during the Cold War, or that
posed by the Axis in WW2. The Soviets in particular - people seem to forget that for decades, we lived under the very real threat of an attack that
would have made 9-11 look like a firecracker in your mailbox.
People consistently seem to overstate the threat posed by OBL and his cronies, and the degree of support they have in the Middle East. We are dealing
with a fringe movement of extremists, not with a mass movement. While significant numbers in the Islamic world may be to some degree sympathetic with
his goals, few seem to be willing to join his Jihad. Considering that Moslems worldwide number some 800 million, and with Sunni Moslems by far the
majority of that number, were even 1% willing to fight with him we'd be facing a huge threat. I don't think it comes anywhere close to that number,
As it is, even in places where extremist fundamentalist Islam is the rule, such as Saudi Arabia, his followers are hunted and jailed or shot. Unlike
the Axis or Warsaw Pact, no major military or industrial powers are willing to enlist in any Islamist play for world domination.
As for the initial question, I think the answer is very different for Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Afghanistan, the US was clearly reacting to a an attack. The government of Aghanistan sheltered our attackers. And Afghanistan proved to be very a
costly war for Al Quaeda.
In Iraq, we attacked a country that, while clearly hostile, had not attacked the United States. It was billed as a "preemptive" war, but much of the
world saw it as an unprovoked invasion, and certainly the vast majority of the Islamic world did. In this sense it's proved to be a major recruiting
success for the fanatical Islamists. Much like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was in the 1980's.
So I think the situation with the two wars is best summarized as on step forward, two steps back.