When the United States of America was attacked on September 11th 2001, Americans were willing and ready to go to war with  Al Qaeda and its mastermind Osama Bin Laden.  The primary goal of the war in Afghanistan was to hunt down the Al Qaeda terrorist network, overthrow the ruling Taliban and kill Bin Laden himself. The United States government had CIA, Delta Force, and the Northern Alliance on the ground. Another 4000 Marines were standing by just miles away and Rangers were at the ready. 

On October 7, 2001, just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack U.S aircraft began a bombing campaign against began bombing the training bases and strongholds of Al Qaeda and the ruling 

Taliban across Afghanistan. With only 200 core fighters left, Osama was on the run. Caught in the White Mountains of Eastern Afghanistan and pinned down in an area less than one kilometer, Osama Bin Laden and the war in Afghanistan was nearly over. Ayman al Zawahiri, who became the leader of Al Qaeda, said the Americans refused to take the necessary risk and finish the job. The commander in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks did the unthinkable, he denied multiple requests to reinforce the troops at Tora Bora with marines or Rangers. 

Marine Corps General and later Secretary of Defense James Mattis, had 4,000 troops stationed just miles away. With Marines only a few miles away and the Pakistani border getting closer, Mattis requested permission to enter his men into the fight and seal off the border. The General was turned down and Osama crossed the border into Pakistan a week or so later. Former CIA officer Gary Berntsen wrote in his book Jawbreaker: “I’d sent my request for 800 U.S. Army Rangers and was still waiting for a response. I repeated to anyone at headquarters who would listen: We need Rangers Now! The opportunity to get bin Laden and his men is slipping away!” All of his requests for additional troops were denied. 

Osama left Afghanistan behind and lived in Pakistan until his death in 2011. 10 years after he was killed at the hands of Navy Seals, US forces are still in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed across the Middle East and civil liberties are constantly assaulted here at home. The incompetence of the US government is on display nearly everyday, its military adventures are no exception. After nearly 20 year the War on Terror drags on with no purpose, no direction and no end.