Saturday, December 23, 2006


A top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said.

Osmani was the Taliban's chief military commander in southern Afghanistan and played a ''central role in facilitating terrorist operations'' including roadside bombs, suicide attacks and kidnappings, the U.S. said. He was part of a group of ''co-equals'' at the top of the Taliban leadership chain just under Omar, U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins said. ''This guy had been deeply involved in terrorist acts against the people of Afghanistan, NATO and the government,'' Collins said. ''He was a top commander of Taliban operations in the south and now he's no more.'' ...

... Collins said that Osmani had been ''utilizing both sides'' of the Afghan-Pakistan border, and that the U.S. military had been tracking him ''for a while.''

''When the time was right, and we thought we had a good chance of hitting him without causing any harm to civilians, we struck,'' he said.
I'm glad we got him! Congratz to the Coalition and our Troops! (I bet we used a drone!)

I highlighted the last part because it pisses me off: The fact that we need to pay so much dang attention to the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that we need to worry so much about collateral damage. These things didn't bother FDR or Truman, and it's one reason they kept winning most of the battles on the way to winning the war. Sure sure sure: times have changed. But the now common expectation - that war is no longer hell - is not fair. Our extraordinarily technologically advanced smart bombs and drones (operated by remote control, sometimes from thousands of miles away) have made people think that wars must be fought and won without suffering casualties or killing civilians. This has greatly hindered our effort and prolonged the war, and this leads to more US casualties.

We should fully commit to winning and then pull out all the stops. We must stop fighting with one hand behind our back. Fighting this way will shorten the war and be a better deterrent against future would-be foes. (More HERE and HERE.)

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