canadiancomment

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A Big Misconception

I would like to make a quick point about something that was said in a conversation that Dana was having with an anonymous reader in the comments section of this post. Anonymous argued that the war in Iraq took vital troop numbers away from the war in Afghanistan, which allowed Bin Laden to escape into Pakistan.
"We used over 100,000 more troops for Iraq than Afghanistan. Had we used that many troops in Afghanistan we would have gotten Bin Laden."
That is one of the biggest misconceptions about the war in Afghanistan to date, just because John Kerry said it doesn't mean its true. After reading several accounts of the actual special forces who were on the ground in the Toro Boro region, I learned that larger troop numbers would have hindered the hunt for Osama, instead of helped.

Given the rough topography of Toro Boro, conventional forces would not have been mobile enough to have been of any use. That's why smaller groups of special forces, that were used to operating in such conditions, were used. A large lumbering force would only have given Osama more time to make his escape.

That, plus very little was know about the region, that is main reason why the Afghans were used instead of American troops, they were fine scouts. The Afghans knew the area, although they were somewhat untrustworthy, the military had no other options at hand. As always, the special forces had to try and make the best of a less than perfect situation.

So for Anonymous to use the drain on troop strength in Afghanistan to support his or her case against the war in Iraq is just wrong. The shifting of resources from Afghanistan to Iraq had no effect on the outcome of the hunt for Bin Laden, but that's just the opinion of the people who were actually involved.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who’s the enemy? It’s Islamofascists.

Going after Bin Laden by the left is a red herring. It’s like going after transfats by jailing the CEO of McDonald’s.

But for those that think more troops to find Bin Laden is the answer, then why not get YOUR country to put up the troops? Why expect American to do all the heavy lifting?

nomdenet

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a serious question but it seems to be just a rant.
So anyone not for the war in Iraq is the liberal left? I guess I better change my party.
I guess I was not clear I was against the war in Iraq can you hear me know? Even you say it was a mistake but don’t care what happens in the middle east (your words). Bosnia was for a stated purpose and we did not take over the country to shape how we want. So much for sovereign nations to chose their path. And yes AGAIN there is ugliness all over the world but by your logic we should take over the world and shape it until it is perfect like us . Right? Hey why not. You do not have to pay in any form. How many U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq did you say you know? Not that it really matters but I doubt you have a personal stake in this in any form.? How much is it costing you and your country? And in what form?

Cheerleading from the stands-Priceless

Anonymous said...

The post above is contineud from 2 years post.

Friend of USA said...

I don`t think catching Osama Bin Laden would have changed anything much , they captured Saddam and
" insurgents " ( wich should be called terrorists as they don`t represent the Iraqi people thus are not insurgents ) are still hard at it.

In the short run capturing bad guys is great as it boosts moral but in the long run pushing for democracy is what will really make profound changes.

Anonymous said...

bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora in November/December 2001.

The liberation of Iraq commenced on Mar 19, 2003.

Anonymous is a genius.

Terry Gain

Anonymous said...

Her is but one of many articles reporting the missed opportunity at Tora Bora from U.S. Govt. reports. If you truly believe the U.S military is not capable of of sealing off the border and capturing one man that is your choice but I believe they could if they had tried with the full weight of the military. You seem to think that rough terrain is to much for the most powerful force in the history of the world. I don’t. The reason that not enough troops were put on the ground is because they would not have had the troop strength to invade Iraq later on. But wait that’s right Iraq was not a threat at that time.

U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight
Failure to Send Troops in Pursuit Termed Major Error

By Barton Gellman and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 17, 2002; Page A01

The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge.

"We [messed] up by not getting into Tora Bora sooner and letting the Afghans do all the work," said a senior official with direct responsibilities in counterterrorism. "Clearly a decision point came when we started bombing Tora Bora and we decided just to bomb, because that's when he escaped. . . . We didn't put U.S. forces on the ground, despite all the brave talk, and that is what we have had to change since then."

R. anonymous said...

Her is but one of many articles reporting the missed opportunity at Tora Bora from U.S. Govt. reports. If you truly believe the U.S military is not capable of of sealing off the border and capturing one man that is your choice but I believe they could if they had tried with the full weight of the military. You also seem to think that rough terrain is to much for the most powerful force in the history of the world. I don’t. The reason that not enough troops were put on the ground is because they would not have had the troop strength to invade Iraq later on. But wait that’s right Iraq was not a threat even a year before we invaded.

U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight
Failure to Send Troops in Pursuit Termed Major Error

By Barton Gellman and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 17, 2002; Page A01

The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge.

"We [messed] up by not getting into Tora Bora sooner and letting the Afghans do all the work," said a senior official with direct responsibilities in counterterrorism. "Clearly a decision point came when we started bombing Tora Bora and we decided just to bomb, because that's when he escaped. . . . We didn't put U.S. forces on the ground, despite all the brave talk, and that is what we have had to change since then."

R said...

Blogger is having server trouble posts don’t go through half the time. Server error page.
I will not go by anonymous anymore to make it less confusing with others who post that way. I will go by R. I hope Dana is O.K. since there is no response but I would still like to discuss the issue. It is a fact that we would not have had the troop strength to invade Iraq if 150,000 troops were put in Afghanistan to get Bin Laden. As it was we did not have enough troops to secure the country right after the invasion.
Here are some links about Tora Bora. Believe it or not.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62618-2002Apr16?language=printer
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0304/p01s03-wosc.html
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/24/pentagon.binladen/
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0128/p01s05-wosc.html

R said...

Blogger is having server trouble posts don’t go through half the time. Server error page.
I will not go by anonymous anymore to make it less confusing with others who post that way. I will go by R. I hope Dana is O.K. since there is no response but I would still like to discuss the issue. It is a fact that we would not have had the troop strength to invade Iraq if 150,000 troops were put in Afghanistan to get Bin Laden. As it was we did not have enough troops to secure the country right after the invasion.
Here are some links about Tora Bora. Believe it or not.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62618-2002Apr16?language=printer
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0304/p01s03-wosc.html
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/24/pentagon.binladen/
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0128/p01s05-wosc.html

Dana said...

I'm alright R.

As I said earlier my involvement in this discussion has ended.

R said...

Sorry but you said nothing about he discussion being over your last post=
Can you please clarify where exactly I claimed that the Iraq war was a mistake. You state "Even you say it was a mistake..." and unfortunately I don't quite remember making such a statement.

Thanks.

And my reply=This is part of your response to my question “Why are we in Iraq”

From Your Post--“I'll shed no tears over what the US has done in the Middle East. If the US accepts the responsibility then congratulations to them. America will take the credit or deserve the blame and that is a responsibility that they must burden.”

“Does American make mistakes. Of course they do. But they also accept responsibilities like no other nation on earth.”

Now maybe you were talking about other mistakes. But I thought you were trying to answer the question but I guess you were not answering the question or were you. Maybe you could explain. And then maybe you could answer the questions I asked a couple of times. Thank you

Now I know but thanks for a little bit of discussion. R.