Attacking Afghanistan after 9/11 was a no-brainer (Clinton had such plans after the Cole attack, but the needed basing rights in Uzbekistan was not allowed until after 9/11). Then, after defeating the Taliban and killing or capturing much of al Qaeda, DW blew it when he pulled out early as he charged off to an Iraq fiasco--a great gift and relief for the terrorists.
But during that short war, too few troops let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora. He was monitored on the airways there talking to his followers as he apologized for their predicament. But, we had too few troops at Tora Bora (60 or so). More troops (700) were requested by the team leader there. CIA's Hank Crumpton personally asked DW for the troops. No response, so bin Laden escaped.
Promised infrastructure building was slight allowing Afghanistan to morph into a narcostate providing money for the terrorists. President Karzai, our good ally, plans to leave due to his reconstruction related drop in popularity. Now the Taliban is resurging. The Iraqi insurgence has shown the Taliban the way--a feedback from the Iraq fiasco.
Invading Iraq is seen as a monumental blunder of historic proportions. Beyond leaving Afghanistan too soon, the adventure weakened us from every viewpoint. Now we're stuck there without a good way out. When stuck in the mud, arguments may arise about how to get out, but then, eventually, the question has to be asked, "What fool got us stuck here in the first place?"
It is believed that our invasion of Afghanistan was part of the al Qaeda plan, that we would get stuck, humiliated and then driven out as the Russians were, but it didn't work. Rather we got stuck in Iraq. There the gains made in Afghanistan were more than trumped with our losses in Iraq.
It was reported by Muslims themselves that the moderate Muslim majority is shrinking in response to Iraq and the Israeli conflicts. That corresponds to the comprehensive April National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) leak in the late news. Now, as we know, the NIE states that the terrorists numbers have been expanding, that Iraq is now a terrorist recruiting ground with a new generation of Jihadist emerging--making us less safe. DW had to know of that important report. His hard line since April though has been that we are safer--his major strategy going into the mid-terms.
DW passed on an opportunity to calm Iran when he refused to talk with them in '02. DW then included Iran in his "Axis of Evil" speech just prior to invading Iraq--an implied threat that further stimulated Iran's taste for the nuclear. He did his best to aggravate a country that sponsors terrorism and in all probability is pursuing a nuclear bomb.
We know the Iranian people have a favorable opinion of the U.S. people in general and are unhappy with their government. They need help to dump the clerics and President whatshisname. But then, DW is all about tough talk and gives little thought to hearts and minds--the only way to win in the long run.
DW's line has been that he would talk to Iran only after they quit their enrichment program--no middle ground, hence, no discussions as Iran charges on with its enrichment program.
--N. Korea F
DW alienated Kim further in '02 when he accused Kim of enriching uranium and breaking previous agreements. Then DW included N. Korea in his "Axis of Evil" speech just prior to invading Iraq--an implied threat that motivated Kim to speed up his nuclear bomb program--and Kim is an arms merchant, His store is open to the terrorists as they stroll by with our oil money.
DW's line has been that he would talk to Kim only after he quits arming--no middle ground, hence no discussions as Kim keeps his nuclear lines humming.