3,219. 12/15/2001

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) wrote: “Fewer than 100 U.S. special operations commandos were at Tora Bora [Afghanistan, in December 2001], not enough to defeat the entrenched Al Qaeda fighters. Calls for reinforcements were rejected. So were requests for U.S. troops to block the exit routes to sanctuary in Pakistan a few miles away. The vast array of U.S. military power was kept on the sidelines by senior commanders who entrusted one of the primary objectives of the war to airstrikes and unreliable Afghan and Pakistani allies. Military analysts estimate it would have taken only 2,000 or so American troops to accomplish the mission. …Instead, [Central Command leader] Gen. Tommy Franks left the job to a motley collection of Afghan militiamen and Pakistani Frontier Corps paramilitary fighters who never showed up.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – John Kerry, “Tora Bora: An Opportunity Missed,” The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8, 2009

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