American troops have disengaged from combat in Iraq as combat begins to increase in Afghanistan. The intensity of the war in Afghanistan has ratcheted up in direct correlation to the gearing down of combat in Iraq.
The search for Osama Bin Laden continues almost eight years after he claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Although it is believed that he is still somewhere in the region, his trail has gotten cold and finding him has become increasingly difficult.
The cold trail, the difficulty in finding Bin Laden and the uncertainty of his whereabouts can all be laid at the feet of George W. Bush and his administration.
Any police detective will tell you, the time you have the best chance of solving a crime and finding the perpetrator is within the first 48 hours after the crime has been committed.
His trail is still warm and he hasn’t had time to cover all of his tracks. He is panicky and nervous concerning if he left any clues behind. He is not thinking clearly and it is within this time frame that he is most likely to make a mistake that will lead his pursuers to him.
The longer he is able to stay a free man, the better he will become at covering his trail until no traces of him will be able to be found.
This is exactly what happened with Osama Bin Laden.
Although no one expected Bin Laden to be caught within 48 hours of the attacks, there were expectations that he would be apprehended within a reasonable span of time.
But certainly not seven plus years.
Osama Bin Laden was not caught in the window of time that was critical for him to be found and the reason for that is the Iraq War.
With American troops hot on the trail of Bin Laden, the Bush administration decided to divert critical manpower and equipment to initiate a war with Iraq which was at the time, a peaceful, neutral nation.
The American military was in no condition to engage in two wars at the same time and in fact had never in the history of the nation done so.
Military troop levels were at a bare minimum due to the war in Afghanistan, other obligations around the world and the Donald Rumsfeld philosophy of a streamlined fighting force.
Very simply, America could not sustain another war and be ready to handle any other conflict that might have broken out in the world.
Besides, the focus of being in the Middle East region was the capture of Osama Bin Laden, the one behind the most devastating attack on American soil.
The bush Administration threw all of this aside and went after Saddam Hussein anyway.
It was reported by The Washington Times and other major newspapers, that President Bush’s advisers had assured him that the invasion of Iraq would be a “slam dunk.”
President Bush and his advisers, no doubt, thought that they would be in and out of Iraq quickly. I am quite certain that none of them anticipated continuing to fight in Iraq for six-plus years.
Bush and his advisers, led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, took a small contingency of troops numbering just over 100,000 into Iraq.
Although the initial conflict was easily won in less than two months, the ensuing insurgency of Hussein loyalists continued to fight against American led troops for six more violent, bloody years.
President Bush and his advisers grossly misjudged how the Iraq invasion would turn out. In the mean time, troops in Afghanistan were being affected by the ongoing conflict in Iraq.
Without sufficient troops or equipment to adequately fight the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan or to pursue Osama Bin Laden, his trail went cold and the Bush-initiated Iraq War was the cause.
Now, here we are, almost eight years later, finally pursuing the one who committed the most heinous act against Americans in our country’s history.
There is an old saying that I think applies to the situation that was just discussed here and it goes: “don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.”
This is exactly what the Bush Administration did and it may have cost us the opportunity to catch the one who committed the most damaging and far-reaching criminal act in America’s storied history.