CHAT PARTICIPANT: Why do we not just commit all necessary forces into the region and get it over with? We have the manpower and the weapons. They chose this path and we should end it.
CLARK: I agree with your sentiment, but it’s difficult to get the forces in and do the job correctly. Remember, what we’re trying to do is eliminate the terrorist network. If it flees to another country, and is given protection there, then a yearlong invasion of Afghanistan would be wasted. I am concerned that we not repeat the mistakes of the Russians in Afghanistan. They put in 100,000 troops, kept them there for ten years, had 15,000 killed, and lost. Winning this war requires not only bombs and bullets, but a strategic and diplomatic framework that dries up support for the terrorists worldwide.
This war won’t be over any time soon, even if by some lucky break, a bomb should strike Osama bin Laden. There are thousands of terrorists who fervently believe in attacking Americans and will continue to try to do so until their own governments detain them. So we have to balance the energy of the military action in Afghanistan with other efforts, economic, political, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement, in many places around the world to achieve our aim.