John Kerry is correct that resources were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq before we accomplished our mission there. How can I be so sure? General Franks told me.....
On Feb. 19, 2002, I visited Central Command headquarters for a briefing on our mission in Afghanistan. After an upbeat assessment with maps, photographs and video, however, General Franks asked for an additional private word in his office. "Senator,'' he said, "we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan. ...Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq. ... The Predators are being relocated. What we are doing is a manhunt."
General Franks was telling me this 13 months before the beginning of combat operations in Iraq, and only four months after the beginning of combat in Afghanistan...
If we had truly been able to do both, military and intelligence resources would not have been diverted from Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden wouldn't be continuing to exhort his followers to greater acts of terror; he, like Saddam Hussein, would be in American hands.
Washington, Oct. 22, 2004
The writer, a Florida Democrat, is a former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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