Bush and bin Laden part 2

English: Tora Bora

English: Tora Bora (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After I wrote Bush and bin Laden, I decided to do some further reading on the subject. Tommy Franks‘s deputy Lieutenant General Michael DeLong with Noah Lukeman wrote a book I had not read before entitled Inside Centcom, The Unvarnished Truth about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In that book, DeLong again stated his conviction that bin Laden was at Tora Bora during late 2001, early 2002. The area of interest around Tora Bora was 70 square miles. If it were circular, the circumference to be guarded was 30 miles; if rectangular 7 by 10 miles, the perimeter was 34 miles. Assuming a rectangle 1 mile by 70 miles long, the worst possible case from our viewpoint, the perimeter to be guarded against escape by bin Laden would have been 142 miles. A large area to cover it is true, but surely it was well within our capabilities to capture the world’s most wanted war criminal since the mountainous terrain limited the number of escape routes for the non-mountain climbers of al-Qaeda members from Saudi Arabia. After all, how many desert dwellers climb mountains for sport or recreation?