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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2013-11-28 16:50:42)

Bob F

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  • Pakistani Military between Rock and Hard Place
    • Undertaking a military incursion (i.e. raid) into another country is a highly risky undertaking. If anything were to go wrong during the conduct of the raid it could quickly devolve into a disaster for the participants very quickly. Witness the misfortune that befell our troops under president Carter in Iran. Secondly, a failed raid would have huge international political repercussions. Violating another country's territorial borders, without consent or prior agreement, is justly perceived as a slap against the dignity of that country. The benfits, and the level on confidence in one's intelligence, would have to be very great indeed to risk such an action. In the case of the U.S.'s raid to get Bin Laden, the success of the mission overwhelmed the cries of indignation from Pakistan about the breach of its borders. Pakistan's case was also watered down by virtue of the continued air kill strikes against selected terrorists in various parts of its country. The critical factor in this situation is that terrorists are, for a fact, present in Pakistan in spite of Pakistan's denials. Hence, the U.S. continues to pursue and kill terrorists in Pakistan.

      I would doubt that India would try such an excursion. The relationship between India and Pakistan versus the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan is fundamentally different. In the case of the U.S. - Pakistani relationship there exists a "constructive relaionship." The U.S. provides Pakistan significant financial aid and we share intelligence. The U.S. is also deeply committed to keeping a close eye on Pakistan's nuclear capabilities. So, was Pakistan pissed about the U.S. raid? Undoubtably. However, were India to try such a raid it would probably trigger another war between the nations. The benefit vs. risk equation is significantly different.

  • Obama right not to Release Usama Photo
    • The burial at sea was done for several reasons. In accordance with Islamic custom, burials are supposed to happen quickly. Burying him at sea allowed the U.S. to comply with that tradition. Although the burial at sea has apparently been controversial. From what I have read burial at sea is supposed to be an action of last resort for Muslims. Secondly, I believe the U.S. was interested in avoiding a specific burial site thereby denying his supporters a landmark. So the burial at sea was not pointless, it was done with fore thought.

    • I agree. Releasing the photos will really accomplish nothing positive. Doubters of Bin Laden's death will always be skeptical no matter what material you make public.

  • Cole Interview: Bin Laden an Utter Failure
    • Unfortunately, I have to agree with the essence of Mr. Shorter's comments. I do not believe that Usama believed he could win a conventional military victory over the U.S. His strategy was actually much more insidious and effective. He sought to seriously weaken the U.S. by bleeding our economic resources in a long, drawn out and expensive multinational campaign. In effect, to do to the U.S. what he helped accomplish against Russia in Afghanistan. In this regard, he has suceeded to some extent has he not? When you consider that the Iraq adventure has cost this country somewhere between $2 - 4 TRILLION dollars and still counting. The U.S. is now much less stable financially than it was when G. Bush assumed the presidency.

      Unfortunately, for our country, Usama had the perfect foil for his strategy in our then commander in chief, George Bush. I believe president Bush had the worst temperment possible for a president especially against a wily and resourceful opponent like Usama. Former president Bush did not then nor even today strike me as a deep thinker. He is Texas through and through (everything is done big in Texas, hmm). He has a tendency to use a sledge hammer to kill a gnat. In short, it is the only tool in his toolbox. He reacted to 9/11 in a manner consistent with his temperment. Like an elephant in a china shop he first starts the Afghanistan campaign which he bungles badly. Remember, Usama escaped from our clutches first in this country and likely fled to Pakistan while we dithered. Then to my utter amazement, Bush unilaterally invades Iraq. Talk about a huge lack of focus. I am confident that this military action will go down in history as a blunder of epic proportion. Usama, at this point began to score big points against the U.S., possibly beyond his wildest dreams. He escaped with his life and Bush had mired our country in two different Arab countries with no coherent, short term goal in sight. In short, we began to spend huge amounts of money for military excursions without a foreseeable end. At the same time, Usama puts the U.S. in an antagonistic posture against Arabs in general. So the cost of this campaign exceeds the strictly monetary. Usama has suceeded in having the U.S. antagonize Arabs throughout the region as well.

      Eliminating Usama does translate into progress in our fight against terrorism, however, we still have a long way to go. The reasons why terrorism continues are complex and not all of the underlying factors were eliminated with Usama's demise. Hence, I hesitate to declare Usama an utter failure. He succeeded to some degree in certain respects. He certainly did not reach the finish flag but, unfortunately, points were certainly scored.

      This is my first post to your website. I find your site to be very informative.

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