Constantly ranting ‘Bush letting Osama go’ in Tora Bora.
Bush should have sent 50,000 paratroops into Afghanistan to deal with al-Qaeda and the Taliban and not count on indigenous support.
Wailing about this, crying about that.
It never ends.
So, let us start with a map:
Q1: Are you going to parachute your 50,000 airborne infantry into one area or spread them around. If you are going to spread them around how was that going to help in the capture and trial of bin Laden? If brilliantly dropping in on one spot, which spot? Why? If Tora Bora is your landing zone why wouldn’t al-Qaeda just traipse west into Iran or north into Turkmenistan or east into Pakistan? When al-Qaeda defines their movements are you simply going to airdrop more thousands to attack them in transition – into other countries.
Q2: Do you actually think we had 50,000 paratroops immediately available with the capability to airlift them promptly into Afghanistan? What kind of weapons do you think paratroops carry? Remember, we had President Clinton’s ‘Peace Dividend’ to spend! Are you really talking about changing the American military force structure before we were to strike al-Qaeda and the Taliban (like Shinkeki's 400,000 comment implied)? How many years did you want to expend in the effort to build that capability – and therefore, how long were you going to permit al-Qaeda to run free?
Q3: Assuming we have those 50,000 paratroops to spare (and I don’t think we had 50,000 jump qualified personnel in 2001 – period), can generate the necessary airlift capability, and figure out exactly where to drop them – how do you supply these guys?
The answers to the first two questions by these Armchair Generals imply that, at best, they can assume the nickname “General Maintenance”. The type of leaders and military strategists that ensure the base is clean and painted and the grass is cut – but can’t lead or implement change worth a damn. However, these bloviations are only hints of foolishness.
The proof is in the answer to Question 3. Supply and support of large military expeditions separate General Maintenance from General Patton. How do you supply a land locked nation like Afghanistan through the air? Whose airspace do you use? Do you have any idea of the material requirements for a force that large? How permanent were those ‘good will’ agreements you site so often (ah, the old ‘we blew all that post 9/11 goodwill’ argument) with nations such as Iran, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan?
If you contend we could have airdropped tens of thousands of paratroopers onto the precise spot to fix and destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban without a buy-in from the indigenous peoples then you are a fool…
And, a fool is forever…