ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond Afghanistan

The bomb and missile attacks by US and British aircraft on targets in Afghanistan connected with the Taliban regime and with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organisation, which got under way on Sunday, had been prepared for elaborately from the moment the US pinpointed bin Laden and Al Qaeda as the prime suspects in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. As the world watched with bated breath, the US and Britain had set about putting together the most awesome assembly of military personnel and materiel all around Afghanistan for precisely this operation. A relentless diplomatic effort too had been mounted to get an impressive number of countries to permit combat aircraft to use their air-space and some also to agree to the stationing of troops on their territories. The air attacks on Afghanistan have been on for less than a week and there is no indication yet of when the expected, but far more problematic, land operations would begin. But already it is clear that, even if the US government’s most optimistic expectations of it are fulfilled, the military effort directed at Afghanistan cannot be the all-important, or the most effective, element in the success of the drive against terrorism that it has been made out to be by the Bush administration.

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