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While we have angst about the "surge" in Iraq, or if the Democrats will have the leverage to pull the plug, or we download pictures of the latest train wreck of a human being on the Internet, or comment on how cold it is, there is still a war on in Afghanistan and it just kicked up a notch this week.
Operation Achilles is the name the military has given to this new offensive in southern Afghanistan. We have great guys from the 10th Mountain Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations-types up to their eyeballs in sand, in addition to the Taliban fighters. NATO is running this show, but we have a four-star general named Dan McNeill commanding.
I know this guy because we served together. He is a good man and this is his second tour there. The British, as always, are also with us, using their great Royal Marines in the fight.
There are mile-long supply convoys that take two days to get to where they are going because the roads are so bad — when there is a road, anyway. The sand eats at everything.
Why are they not using helicopters to re-supply? Because the Taliban have become very good at the very thing we taught the Afghan rebels to do when we helped them fight the Russians.
They are shooting down our helicopters, especially the slower ones like those used for re-supply.
This is not a cakewalk; this is a tough, dangerous fight, and one that has been coming for at least two years. We let the Taliban back in, we stayed too long in the cities and we have not focused on Afghanistan — the very place where 9/11 was hatched. We let bin Laden escape, so now we are forced to fight the bastards again. Once again, our great soldiers have to make up for the politicians who are not doing their jobs.
Our Intel people believe that bin Laden and his No. 2 man, al-Zawahiri, are hiding in Pakistan, and that there are new terrorist training camps being built there.
But guess what we are doing?
We are launching secret missions into Pakistan. It was a secret — a big one, anyway — until another traitorous government employee leaked the information, and the press once again could not help itself.
So if you are bin Laden — even though we know you're not — you have just been told that the United States knows where you are and that they are coming to get you.
Sorry, that is not the way to catch a guy as slippery and dangerous as the man who murdered so many Americans on 9/11 — a man who should have been dead five years ago.
It is interesting to note that we have accepted Afghanistan as a troubled country that needs help. For me, Afghanistan and Iraq are the same. In both places we have our best being blown up and killed. And just like in Iraq, the ultimate solution for Afghanistan will be political and economic.
We wish the lads well on this new operation. Hell, we are praying they do well so that we can bring them home and get ready for the next fight.
Colonel David Hunt has over 29 years of military experience, including extensive operational experience in Special Operations, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Operations. You can read his complete bio here.