Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Mission: Not Accomplished

Osama been forgotten. What the heck have we been doing for four years? Dead or alive. Who, our troops?

U.S. Cedes Duties in Rebuilding Afghanistan
Another major question is how the transition will affect U.S. efforts to track down top fugitives such as al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman Zawahiri and Taliban leader Mohammad Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the region.

NATO has said it will not spend its time hunting individuals. The U.S. military will keep only a small residual presence in the south, but officials maintain that they will bring in Special Operations troops as the need arises.

"If Mullah Omar shows up in Kandahar," McGraw said, "we'll go to Kandahar."

Still, the U.S. willingness to cede authority in the south suggests just how remote the possibility of catching notorious fugitives within Afghanistan may be. Many security officials here say they believe bin Laden and others are across the border in Pakistan, where the United States has a much smaller presence.

That likelihood is another reason many Afghans wonder how much longer the United States will stay, and whether it is as committed to reconstruction as it is to catching terrorists. The possible dramatic cuts in USAID funds for Afghanistan -- the result of tightened budgets because of heavy U.S. spending in Iraq and domestic hurricane relief -- have increased that concern.

Another job not finished as we walk away and let others try to pick up the pieces. We really are spoiled children on the world stage.

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