Seven years ago, the dynamic trio of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld directed an American invasion of Afghanistan which, ostensibly, was aimed at crushing the Taliban and capturing Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. Seven years have passed and the situation in 2008 is remarkable worse than it was in 2001. Ordinarily, when nations invade another nation it is based on a well thought out plan of action. But, in Bush America, the original plan invariably has major problems that are not discovered until thousands of people have died. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates noted yesterday, “you have an overall approach, an overall strategy, you adjust it based on the circumstances that you find. We did that in Iraq. We made a change in strategy in Iraq and we are going to continue to look at the situation in Afghanistan.”
For some reason, known only to President Bush, and his clique of incompetents, the initial invasion is never carried out by enough troops which leads to militants being able to organize and fight back. Years after militants have grown strong, Bush and his bunch of bozos finally grasp the point that more troops are needed. Actually, in 2003, the Joint Chiefs of Staff made that point about the Iraq invasion but were ignored. Sorry, John McCain, there is no record of you openly telling Bush he was wrong to disregard the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Secretary Gates did get around to apologizing for American air attacks that resulted in the death of innocent civilians and urged military commanders to immediately apologize and then order an investigation rather than delaying to accept responsibility. This certainly is one shift in strategy that might assist in gaining support.
Unfortunately, it is now too late to shift strategy and gain quick victory. The Taliban are entrenched in mountains and have gained the support of large sectors of the civilian population. There is now need to investigate the possibility of using diplomacy in order to lessen violence.