> On Thu, 4 Oct 2001, Seth Ackerman wrote:
> > I agree with this. But at the moment Colin Powell is adamant that
> > getting rid of the Taliban is not an explicit goal of the campaign.
> I could of course be wrong, and time will show if I am. But I believe
> this is simply good diplomacy on Powell's part, as well as good intramural
> politics. There are many reasons why it would be better for the US to
> declare publicly that toppling the Taliban is not its goal while
> undertaking actions that will fatally weaken it.
I agree with this, from the standpoint of someone in Powell's position as a diplomat. But also from a military standpoint, it's undoubtedly a very good strategy to define and refine the target as precisely as possible in this case, giving those at the right and left hand of said target, or those with less culpability, the understanding that they can quietly (maybe even only to themselves) step to the side and turn the spotlight on someone else. Taking people off the defensive obviously goes some distance, incrementally or by great leaps depending on the situation, toward reducing the level of overt hostility (and hence resistance), increasing the chances of "success." And then you can attack them anyway if that was the plan all along, when their guard is down.
Well, I think that's how it works.
/ dave /