I’m still groping around for an answer: Would an experienced military analyst say that the mission at Tora Bora was somehow botched? That the capture of OBL was a task with which our military ought to have been able to cope? Or was the terrain too difficult, the intelligence too uncertain, and the entire situation therefore problematic? Does anyone know, for example, whether John Keegan has pronounced on this? Or our own Victor Davis Hanson?
In the meantime, readers are making some points. From one reader:
It is not “outsourcing” when Indigenous people help to fight a war IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY….The complaint by Kerry and Edwards re: Tora Bora and “outsourcing” actually shows a consistent approach by them — it shows their utter disdain for the people of the Middle East. At a time when we are cultivating the Middle East and trying to gain footholds of democracy, they discount and “demean” the contribution of the Iraqis in the war in their country and they disparage the contribution of the Afghans in the war in their country. Bush and Cheney should defend their contribution as important and meaningful.
From another reader:
I’m in the 82nd Airborne and trained with some SF [special forces] guys who were in Afghanistan from the beginning and were featured in Robin Moore’s “The Hunt for Bin Laden.” They did not have a high opinion of the book. It’s my understanding that 5th SF Group has officially distanced itself from it. Note also that Idema, the clear protaganist of the book who was everywhere doing everything magnificently, is now in an Afghan prison accused of torturing prisoners.
I think you will find re Tora Bora and anything involving Special Operations that almost everyone who actually knew what the plan was cannot talk about what the plan was. Operational security is a possible explanation for the administration’s reticence.