A commitment to a police action means infinite commitment -- A COMMITMENT TO PAY ANY PRICE FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME. If you pretend a police action is a war (with a finite, winnable “end”) you are setting yourself up to turn tail and run -- as we did in Vietnam, after the Marine barracks bombing in Kosovo, our aborted war in Iraq (where we stopped at the border and left Saddam in power), the savaging of the helicopter pilots in Somalia, etc. -- and, for that matter, the cretinous “war on drugs” or “war on poverty.”
We keep bashing our heads against the wall because we keep getting ourselves into wars that aren’t really wars -- either for shortsighted, pinhead economically motivated “realpolitik” or PR and empty symbolism. We wind up in open-ended police actions where the choice is (A) turn tail and run (B) stay forever and take the body blows.
Osama has observed this. His entire strategy is based on this.
He figures our commitment (willingness to suffer, sacrifice, expend resources) is not infinite -- that he can, ultimately, keep raising the stakes and calling our hand until we fold.
That is why the fucker deliberately provoked us into going to war in Afghanistan. He figures to stir up a Jihad in which his followers are willing to pay any price -- unlike us. Which is why he figures we’ll leave, he’ll win and become King Shit of a new Caliphate.
Now that we’re committed it is too late to walk away: but we have to create a definite, achievable objective. This needs to be Operation Manhunt, not Operation Kill All Terrorists Everywhere. If we try to do that, we will bleed ourselves white and fail.