Editorial: War plans need specific details

Congress has asked President George W. Bush for more specifics concerning his global war on terrorism. With Bush seeking to escalate the war and offer aid and training in several other countries, Americans and Congress are wondering what the objectives are beyond the elimination of the al-Qaida network – especially since some countries receiving aid don’t even have ties to the group. Bush should be up-front with his goals and be careful he is not staging a war on too many fronts or, even worse, possibly starting a world war.

Most Americans were supportive of Bush’s campaign in Afghanistan when it began. However, six months after its inception and no trace of Osama bin Laden, people are losing interest. Bush thinks that Americans are patient, but he must not know his fellow countrymen that well. Americans are anything but patient, and with little to no results, they are losing interest, and he is losing support.

Evidence of this lack of support can be seen in Congress’ insistence that Bush detail his future plans for attacking or providing aid for countries in the war against terrorism. According to an Associated Press report, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said, “I do fear the country has not absorbed that the conflict is far from over.”

Bush’s insistence on fighting the so-called “axis of evil” countries has also left Americans wondering when and how this war will end. Bush cannot expect Americans to support a potential war involving three more countries when he hasn’t even finished his objectives in Afghanistan.

The war on terrorism is one that needs to be fought, but it should be done one battle at a time with clear, obtainable objectives. Until Bush can give those goals, Congress should question whether the nation is launched into conflicts in which it has no desire to be involved.