Every action can have unintended consequences. One wants thoughtful consideration by clear minds before taking such action. 'The Bush team did not capably exploit this stunner' was what I wrote. Had we pursued Bin Ladin and the rest hastening their heavenly reward, we would certainly have avoided the present consequences. How will it end? Two scenarios: Use half measures with a quick view to the exits or take the advice of the military team and go for the win.
The first scenario would likely lead to a return of the Taliban and their ally Bin Ladin to Kabul. Any push by the Pakistani military against militants on the border would fail as the Taliban would ooze back into Afghanistan gathering greater strength, drug money, and weapons. As the American presence wound down, the Pakistani government, seeing the writing on the wall, would attempt a rapprochement with the Taliban hoping to avoid the threat to their existence. Stability or a prelude to further erosion of the Pakistani state? As for their atomic weapons, I'll leave that to you.
The go for the win scenario has its pitfalls. Costly at first, less costly later on with no guarantees. On the positive side, this option opens the door to closer cooperation with Pakistan to crush the militants between us. The people of Afghanistan would be given a measure of security to withstand the intimidation of a group they know and detest. It would offer another chance to innoculate mainstream Islam from their mad fundamentalists (at least for a while). If I have summed up the options fairly, please make a choice.
Yakov, it might be a more credible comment if you declared yourself to be from Free Russia, but tell us honestly, who is your enemy?
In 2001, a small group of Americans with large suitcases stuffed with cash, won the hearts and minds of Afghan warlords. Money, in this case, bought enough loyalty to rout the Taliban and drive Al-Qaeda into the tribal lands of Pakistan. The Bush team did not capably exploit this stunner but many an American family was gratified that their sons and daughters were spared because of it. Please recall that the British regulars' main complaint about the American irregulars 235 years ago was that we didn't fight fair; we didn't fight like gentlemen.
Mr. Prentice-Mott clearly does not see the difference between buying off an enemy as a stratagem and paying a bribe in the field to the detriment of your allies. Mr. Prentice-Mott is, as they say in the finest circles, a twit.