Lessons on the battlefield need to be learned at a higher level

Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

12/15/08

After the 9/11 attacks, instead of attempting to capture Osama bin Laden using intelligence and law enforcement resources, or kill him in the shadows using Special Forces troops, the Bush administration elected to invade Afghanistan and conduct a nation-building exercise that was far more expansive than just neutralizing al Qaeda, which is now centered in Pakistan. As the Malay communists and Iraqi rebels — and really all insurgent and terrorists groups throughout history — have hoped for, al Qaeda dreamt of a military overreaction by its more powerful adversary to help it score more recruits, money, and propaganda points. Because U.S. intervention in Muslim lands was bin Laden’s original beef, and non-Muslim occupation of Islamic territory has stoked the fires of Islamist radicals for centuries, it seemed obvious that pursuing bin Laden after 9/11 would call for a light footprint in the Muslim world. Instead, not only did the Bush administration invade and occupy one Muslim nation, Afghanistan, but it gave bin Laden a bonus by making it a doubleheader — invading and occupying Iraq and initially using aggressive techniques...

//www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2392


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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