Al-Qaida carried out the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and that organization's headquarters and training camps were in Afghanistan, under the protection of the Taliban.
After the Northern Alliance's initial victories over the Taliban and al-Qaida in the fall of 2003, the United States failed to devote adequate attention to Afghanistan. The Taliban has been making a comeback, as acknowledged by the commanders of our forces in Afghanistan. Those commanders have warned that a "tipping point" may be near. After that point it may be difficult to stem the advance of the Taliban and save the government in Kabul.
The decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was one reason for the neglect of Afghanistan. It would be a shame if the administration's plan to send more troops to Iraq distracted our country from a task that is central in the struggle against global terrorism.
Americans should support the Bush administration's recent decision to increase our commitment of military and financial resources to Afghanistan, and should urge the administration to do all that is necessary for a successful counterattack against the Taliban and al-Qaida, the source of the most serious threat to our country's security.
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Department of Political Science
California State University, Fresno