This is the new blog...CONFESSION ZERO


So, Umm, Why Exactly Did Bin Laden Escape From Tora Bora Back In 2001?

Because of utter incompetence, that's why (emphasis added):


Rumsfeld decision let Bin Laden escape: Senate report

Osama bin Laden was "within the grasp" of US forces in late 2001 but escaped because then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected calls for reinforcements, a hard-hitting US Senate report says.

The report, set for release Monday, is intended to help learn the lessons of the past as President Barack Obama prepares to announce a major escalation of the conflict, now in its ninth year, with up to 35,000 more US troops.

It points the finger directly at Rumsfeld for turning down requests for reinforcements as Bin Laden was trapped in December 2001 in caves and tunnels in a mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan known as Tora Bora.

"The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the marine corps and the army, was kept on the sidelines," the report says.

"Instead, the US command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained Afghan militias to attack Bin Laden and on Pakistan's loosely organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes."

Entitled "Tora Bora revisited: how we failed to get Bin Laden and why it matters today," the report -- commissioned by Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- says Bin Laden expected to die and had even written a will.

"But the Al-Qaeda leader would live to fight another day. Fewer than 100 American commandos were on the scene with their Afghan allies and calls for reinforcements to launch an assault were rejected.

"Requests were also turned down for US troops to block the mountain paths leading to sanctuary a few miles away in Pakistan.

"The decision not to deploy American forces to go after Bin Laden or block his escape was made by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his top commander, General Tommy Franks," the report says.

"On or around December 16, two days after writing his will, Bin Laden and an entourage of bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area. Most analysts say he is still there today."

Rumsfeld's argument at the time, the report says, was that deploying too many American troops could jeopardize the mission by creating an anti-US backlash among the local populace.

The report dismisses arguments at the time from Franks, Vice President Dick Cheney and others defending the decision and arguing that the intelligence was inconclusive about Bin Laden's location.

"The review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants underlying this report removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora."
Gee ... really? Here's a little something from yours truly, back in October 2007 (emphasis added):
(...) We all know how this has been turning out so far:
(...) faced with the reality of this war and seeking to salvage the most out of it humanitarian-wise, the United Nations Security Council authorized an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan on 12/20/2001, which not only included N.A.T.O. forces but was also to be lead by N.A.T.O. itself. The ISAF's original peacekeeping mandate was for a duration of six months - however, partly because of the Taliban insurgency and partly because the U.S. has been "too busy" with its Iraq War since it began in 03/2003, the ISAF's mandate was thereafter extended in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and then extended anew until 03/2008 ... with talks already in the works for a further twelve month-extension beyond this date. In between, N.A.T.O. expanded its Afghanistan mission by increasing its forces in 2005 and in 2006 (including Canadian ones) - because its peacekeeping mission had transformed into a counter-insurgency one.


Although having been successfully pushed out of power, the Taliban insurgency rages on in spite of the wishful thinking that it is weakening.


Osama bin Laden got away and is still in hiding, along with most of the al-Qaeda leadership - even if he and his organization were the prime justification for going into Afghanistan in the first place.

In other words: due to the incompetence of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz et al. (especially by their demonstrated incapacity to keep focused on the Afghan mission at hand and complete it soundly before moving on), N.A.T.O. had to change its peacekeeping/reconstruction mandate to full combat operations - because the Taliban and al-Qaeda were back in force (after being essentially allowed to flee to Pakistan in order to regroup), and enough to enact a significant insurgence at that. So in effect, N.A.T.O. ends up trying to finish the job the Bush administration should have completed to begin with, but instead botched - i.e. N.A.T.O. is trying to make up for the ludicrous mistakes of the demonstrated incompetence of Bush and Co..

How so? The Powell Doctrine was already established and demonstrated after Desert Storm. But then the resident incompetents in the White House (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al.) tossed it aside when they went into Afghanistan - especially because, as it has been revealed, they already had their sights on Iraq. So, they went in Afghanistan without massive deployments, made those stupid deals with the Afghan Warlords and their militias, contented themselves with routing the Taliban and al-Qaeda away from Khabul (and for the life of me, I never understood why no one figured out that the remnants of al-Qaeda and the Taliban would run into Pakistan and, consequently, take strategic steps to block off the border in order to prevent this - then again, they never had enough boots on the grounds to enact such a basic strategy to begin with - but I digress), and then they asked for U.N./N.A.T.O. help because they had begun occupying themselves with Iraq.
To put it more succintly, as yours truly did back in April of last year (emphasis added):
Conclusion: the Taliban and al-Qaeda have been back in force after being essentially allowed to flee to Pakistan and regroup, thanks to the mind-boggling incompetence of the Bush administration.

Or, in other words: this has been a policy of retreat from bin Laden and Afghanistan.
Incompetence: always resulting into utter, neverending, FUBARs.

Q.E.D. - and que sera, sera.

(And see also MoS)

(Cross-posted from APOV)

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