Tags: The | War | Afghanistan | Far | From | Over

The War in Afghanistan Is Far From Over

Monday, 06 May 2002 12:00 AM

Last week, the NATO military alliance said it was ending its unprecedented patrol of American skies, begun after the Sept 11 attacks, because U.S. air defense security had improved. NATO used seven airborne warning and control system (AWACS) planes with international crews to watch over the skies of the U.S. to free up American planes for the military operation in Afghanistan.

During those months, 830 crewmembers from 13 NATO nations were on patrol, flying an estimated 4,300 hours and more than 360 missions. It was the first time NATO had been deployed over the continental United States, and it was to support U.S. operations in the war against international terrorism.

However, ending the patrols over U.S. skies cannot be considered a sign that the war on terrorism is all but over, as some experts have been trying to tell us. Location and fate of the primary targets of the current war – Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants – remain unknown, and the resistance of terrorists and their Afghan supporters continues at a time when the terrorists have, and continue to have, clear objectives.

Terrorist leaflets being circulated by bin Laden's supporters try to demonstrate that the U.S. is an "infidel, imperialist power" that occupies and corrupts Islamic lands, and therefore should be punished and driven out.

The statements echo terrorist propaganda that U.S. forces occupy Saudi Arabia, the Holy Land of Islam, and therefore the American military must be expelled.

U.S. sanctions and military strikes on Iraq, terrorists say, kill and degrade fellow Muslims, and must cease. American backing of Israel perpetuates the "occupation and oppression" of Palestine and must be punished by all "true Islamic believers."

Militarily, bin Laden's current objective in Afghanistan is clear and consistent with previous aims. It is to punish and drive all U.S. forces from the country. Therefore, his tactic is to keep the U.S. Army 10th Mountain and 101st Airborne Division's units – as well as Special Forces and other military detachments in Afghanistan – visible, active and bossy.

Terrorists believe that this tactic will eventually rub the Afghan people the wrong way, which could prove profitable for terrorists, because the Afghans are people who historically have resisted and eventually fought armed occupiers.

As has happened before (in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia), it is widely held that shedding the blood of Americans, while leaving them no end in sight to the conflict, will force them to retreat.

To keep the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, bin Laden has merely to go underground, as he has, moving from safe haven to safe haven. From time to time he lets people know he is alive, but his lack of activity makes him very hard to apprehend.

He has avoided communications that risk interception, and has kept the detachment of his bodyguards small and isolated. Already, his subordinates and those of Taliban leader Mohammed Omar have organized small guerrilla units for future attacks on American "occupation foreign forces and their puppets," as stated in terrorist leaflets that offer money for the murder and capture of Americans.

Terrorist logic says these actions will guarantee that U.S. forces stay in the country.

Pursuing bin Laden, his al-Qaeda network and Mohammed Omar and his supporters requires vigorous military operations, such as the recent Anaconda and Mountain Lion operations in the mountain caves.

It means that getting bin Laden, Omar and the other terrorist leaders will be a long haul. And that means that the possibility of U.S. and American allies in Afghanistan fighting a guerrilla war is just around the corner.

Unlike the short and successful war against the Taliban regime, this war could bring significant casualties. It will not be a nightmare, as it was with the U.S. forces in Vietnam or with the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, but the war is far from over and we have to be ready for it.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
Last week, the NATO military alliance said it was ending its unprecedented patrol of American skies, begun after the Sept 11 attacks, because U.S. air defense security had improved. NATO used seven airborne warning and control system (AWACS) planes with international crews...
The,War,Afghanistan,Far,From,Over
645
2002-00-06
Monday, 06 May 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved