Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Tommy Franks says Kerry is full of it

Well, not really but, he comes close

President Bush and Senator John Kerry have very different views of the war on terrorism, and those differences ought to be debated in this presidential campaign. But the debate should focus on facts, not distortions of history.
Poor General, you really don't understand politics at all, do you? It's seldom about facts and mostly about distortions.

Now on with the important stuff.
On more than one occasion, Senator Kerry has referred to the fight at Tora Bora in Afghanistan during late 2001 as a missed opportunity for America. He claims that our forces had Osama bin Laden cornered and allowed him to escape. How did it happen? According to Mr. Kerry, we "outsourced" the job to Afghan warlords. As commander of the allied forces in the Middle East, I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality.

First, take Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.

So, we had differing intel on where he was. We were never quite sure where he was, and in all the Taliban and Al-queda fighters that were caught and killed, he was never within reach.
Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.
Hmmmmmm, that makes sense, using resourses that actually know the area.
Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
So, Kerry has it completely wrong. Big surprise there.

He goes on to explain that this is a global effort and not a regional one. Go read it, it's worth a few minutes of your time.