Pentagon surprised by resistance

rws at rws at
Fri Oct 26 00:10:34 PDT 2001

G'day Carrol,

> The question is, Is the Pentagon _politically_ prepared for a long struggle?

Or Washington's allies, for that matter ...

> The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time yesterday that
> Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia is proving to be a tenacious
> opponent and is hunkering down for a long fight that could drag
> on for months through the harsh Afghan winter.

Well, hitherto, it's mostly been an aerial assault, and the history of aerial assaults is pretty ordinary when it comes to breaking a population. I've seen people get positively nostalgic about the Blitz (not that I blame people for remembering the good bits in the midst of such horror), and it seems the bombing of Yugoslavia was a great destroyer of neither public morale nor military assets. After all, the Northern Alliance have been complaining for days that they don't reckon the bombing is cutting the mustard. It may be that Washington has decided domestic support is wide but thin; that it can survive months (if the media can be controlled satisfactorily) more easily than it might too many homebound bodybags. If domestic politics drives the military strategy accordingly, we'd better hope hard that the story Kel's just found is true ...

Cheers, Rob.

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