2004-10-19

Franks Rebuts Kerry in NYT

The New York Times has published an op-ed by retired General Tommy Franks rebutting John Kerry's claims about the Afghan campaign. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.) Kerry's statements, made during the last presidential debate, included the assertion that American forces let Osama bin Laden slip through their fingers, as it were, during the Tora Bora campaign.
First, take Mr. Kerry’s contention that we “had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden” and that “we had him surrounded.” We don’t know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.

Second, we did not “outsource” military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.

Third, the Afghans weren’t left to do the job alone. ...

Please take a moment to read the full article at this link:
Franks on Kerry: NYT op-ed

And let's give the editors of the New York Times credit for making this column available to the Times' readers. Whatever the Times' own preference in the coming election may be, it is good journalism to make all well-informed viewpoints available to the public.