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Will the U.S. Fall in the Swamp of `Long-Term War`?

Posted October. 26, 2001 08:56,   


The U.S. `war against terrorism` is likely to fall in the swamp of the long-term was as it was worried from the beginning.

Although 19 days have passed as of yesterday since the U.S. attacked Afghanistan on 7th, it seems impossible to achieve the goal of the war, that is, `elimination of the Taliban leaders and Osama bin Laden`, in a situation where the U.S. cannot even throw the regular troops into the battle.

Winter is coming soon next month. Moreover, during the Ramadan (Nov. 17), there is a high probability that the situation would become more advantageous to the Taliban than to the U.S. forces. The U.S.` concentrated attacks on the Taliban`s fuel tanks, maintenance storage, and the supply line to make the Taliban`s capacity to continue the war powerless is interpreted as a revision of strategy in preparation for the long-term war. The following is a mid-evaluation of war in Afghanistan.

- Recent mode of war and `fighting during severe winter` = The U.S. launched the largest-scale attacks since the beginning of the war, such as firing 3,000 missiles and bombs in the Taliban military units and the supply line in Afghanistan`s capital Kabul, the northern stronghold Mazarishriff, and the southern Kandahar.

Despite the continuing air strikes, the Taliban are still strong enough to engage in fierce battle against the Northern Alliance.

- Changing atmosphere in the international society = In the beginning of this war, the U.S. made it clear that the war was to eliminate terrorism, not to engage in war against Islam. The U.S. received the military support from the U.K, Japan, Italy, and Australia. Especially, the U.S. was able to exercise power in Central Asia by gaining air force base in Uzbekistan.

However, with the report that 1,000 civilians were killed due to the wrongly targeted bombs during the air strikes and 3.5 million people became refugees, the atmosphere in the international society is gradually changing.

Yoon Yang-Sup lailai@donga.com