Red AQ was basically out of Afganistan in the first month we were there. It was 2 years before we did Iraq so the loss of focus excuse doesn't hold water. Actually Iraq pulled AQ into that war and not only did we kill them there but AQ's depradations among the Sunni in Iraq turned the sunni shieks against them and to the US allowing Petreaus' strategy to succeed. We couldn't follow AQ into Pakistan because it is a soverign country and did not authorizse it. Had we gone in against their wishes we would either have expanded the war or Pakistan would have fallen into civil war and AQ may have their hands on Pakistans nucs. BTW Bush would have been crucified. Red said "Yes the Afghans have always fought each other and will go back to it. We really don't care. But Al Qaeda are mostly non-Afghans and they have been pushed into Pakistan where we are now hitting them hard. They can no longer hide. The Taliban is getting a bit weary of all this suffering for protecting a bunch of Saudis. They are getting the carrot and the stick from us. They won't be allowing Al Qaeda use they space as a base anymore. We have shown that our airpower can hit them anywhere. We have taken down two whole countries, occupied them, and have shown that we can stay as long as we want to. The Taliban have had about enough of war with the US. Let the rags get back to killing each other. They are happy and we are happy" Sport that is the most absurd piece of rationalization. Basically you just admitted to the waste of trillions of $ for a return to status quo ante. Your assertion that the Taliban won't allow other anti US terrorists access to land is speculative and hopeful at best. BTW you take credit for taking down Iraq???? was it a waste and bad war or not. You are using it as an example of the same success you claim in Afganistan. Paradox or just stupid? Finally hasn't 2500 + years of history shown you anything. Read Winston Churchill and his account of his posting in the "Northwest Territories" in the 1890s. Remember when the Soviets invaded and the great changes they implemented in Afganistan? The Afgans will do as they please untill they are ready to change. They will absorb any punishment and wait any invader out and continue to support AQ if they want.