A new Senate report concludes that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was “within reach” in December of 2001 and blames America’s failure to capture the terrorist leader for laying the foundation of the insurgency and the destabilization of Pakistan.
The report clearly lays the blame for this failure on former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying his decision to withhold American forces from the Tora Bora conflict facilitated bin Laden’s escape.
Though the Senate probe, ordered by Senator Kerry (D-MA), is ostensibly aimed at examining what went wrong in the first eight years of the war, the timing of the report’s release and the content seem tailor made to support the Obama escalation.
With bin Laden long gone, the “lesson” of the report that more troops and more military hardware would’ve solved all America’s problems in Afghanistan is hazy at best. Still, the report will allow pundits to draw comparisons between anyone not enamored with the new escalation and Donald Rumsfeld, with whom no one wants to be compared.
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