December 22nd, 2009
01:09 PM ET

Around the Web: The battle of Tora Bora

At the New Republic, Peter Bergen has an extensive account about Osama bin Laden and the battle of Tora Bora.

“Tora Bora was not yet a familiar name to many Americans. But what would unfold there over the subsequent days remains, eight years later, the single most consequential battle of the war on terrorism,” Bergen writes.

“Presented with an opportunity to kill or capture Al Qaeda’s top leadership just three months after September 11, the United States was instead outmaneuvered by bin Laden, who slipped into Pakistan, largely disappeared from U.S. radar, and slowly began rebuilding his organization.”

Declan Walsh of the Guardian reports that “American special forces have conducted multiple clandestine raids into Pakistan’s tribal areas as part of a secret war in the border region.”

 “A former NATO officer said the incursions, only one of which has been previously reported, occurred between 2003 and 2008, involved helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government,” Walsh writes.

Some other news reports and perspectives:

 - Kim Barker (Foreign Affairs): “Letter from Kabul: What the United States must overcome in Afghanistan

- Lally Weymouth (Newsweek): “Karzai’s challenge

- Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (NPR): “For U.S., vast challenge to expand Afghan forces

- Steven Erlanger (New York Times): “Europe’s revolving door in Afghanistan

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