A soldier of the Afghan National Army (ANA) looks out across the hills in Tora Bora in 2008. Osama bin Laden was within the grasp of US forces in late 2001 and could have been caught if then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld hadn’t rejected calls for reinforcements, a hard-hitting US Senate report says.(AFP/File/Joel Saget)
A new Senate report being released Monday again underscores the critical mistake made by Gen Tommy Franks and Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld by not putting in the military assets to kill Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora. We all watched afar as reports came in that a last stand battle was brewing in the mountains of Tora Bora at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border 2 months after the U.S. SENT in Special Ops to take down the Taliban regime. Osama Bin Laden with 1000-1500 hardcore jihadists retreated to the caves and tunnels of Tora Bora. With only limited time Osama Bin Laden and his posse is left to battle paid Afghan allies and a handful of spec ops and CIA spooks who then requested additional U.S. Troops and pursue the terrorist leader to the top of the mountain and attempt to encircle and prevent escape into Pakistan. That request was denied and Osama Bin Laden escaped across the Pakistan border and has been thriving in the no mans tribal area of Pashtun and along points of the mountain region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Now 8 years later President Obama is faced with a growing Taliban- Al Qaeda resurgence because leaders in the Bush adminstration chose not to put in the adequate amount of military force that could have cut the head off the beast ‘Osama Bin Laden’. Instead President Bush and his administration chose to commit massive amount of U.S. military assets into an invasion of Iraq and billions and billions of dollars into going after Saddam Hussein a thug not a global terrorist.
Tuesday President Obama will lay out his strategy moving forward in Afghanistan at West Point. With multiple-multiple deployments by our military servicemen and women and waning American support the clock is really ticking but what is the alternative to withdrawal and leave Afghanistan like the U.S.S.R did 20 years ago and precipitated the rise of Al Qaeda and the eventual worst civilian attack on American soil.