Most people would agree that war can be tough to support, but a war against an invisible target is even harder to support. The United States is realizing that its attacks on Afghanistan are not going to end quickly, and this war to find Osama bin Laden is nowhere near its end. Americans must learn patience.
However, many Americans are already asking why little has been accomplished in the first four weeks of strikes. In this era of the quick-fix and video-game mentalities, Americans must learn that not everything can be resolved overnight. This is a war that will take a long time, and it will be difficult to support as time goes on and few results are immediately evident.
The strikes against the Taliban regime were thought to be difficult when first begun due to the country’s rough terrain. The mountains and caves scattered about the nation offer a seemingly unlimited number of places for bin Laden and his groups to hide.
The Persian Gulf War was relatively short. The United States knew where Saddam Hussein was (though he wasn’t killed) and was able to strategically bomb until a resolution was made. Afghanistan doesn’t even have cities, much less a known location of bin Laden.
Americans must come to grips with the fact that this war will be long. It will be difficult to appease such short attention spans that have already been saturated with non-stop coverage of anthrax scares and the green-vision night bombing of downtown Kabul. This, and the following-day commentary, is often not sufficient in keeping Americans content that justice is being met in Afghanistan.
This nation wants swift justice. But this time, the United States must wait and make informed decisions about its strikes in order to avoid mistakes made by others, specifically the Soviet Union, which realized much too late its poor decision to send in ground troops in past skirmishes in Afghanistan.