Operation Anaconda may be over, but questions surrounding its success are just beginning. Also in question is the success of the entire war itself and whether the United States isn’t just creating separate “operations” to seem as if the Taliban and Al-Qaida networks are truly being defeated at all.
In a war that has lasted several months, there have not been any major developments in capturing key Taliban officials or any word on Osama bin Laden’s status. Operation Anaconda was meant to target terrorist networks in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan and was pronounced a success by Gen. Tommy Franks.
However, conflicting reports from ally Afghan rebels tell different stories of this successful operation. Supposedly 500 Al-Qaida members were killed, but nowhere near that number of bodies has been recovered. Afghan allies say more people escaped than were either killed or captured.
However, conflicting reports seem to be the least of the U.S. military’s worries. Instead, their creation of such attacks as Operation Anaconda seem thinly veiled attempts to create miniature victories in a war with which many Americans appear to be losing patience and interest. Since the Taliban still exists and terrorist cells continue to operate, it is becoming evident that the United States is not winning anything nor has it been successful.
President George W. Bush isn’t helping matters either by hinting attacks on Iraq or other supposed nations in the “axis of evil.” He lacks focus and is trying to maintain public support and interest in a campaign that is yielding no important or significant results.
The military should stop creating small battles and operations that have been “won.” Instead, more effort should be made to find bin Laden and eliminate terrorist cells in Afghanistan.