Friday, December 9, 2016
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When America decided to go after the Taliban in its war on terrorism, there were a lot of warnings about what a difficult battleground Afghanistan can be – and what a tough enemy the Taliban would be. That's why so many of us were surprised when the Taliban fighters seemed to retreat so quickly from city after city in Northern Afghanistan as the Northern Alliance advanced back in the days of that first Gulf War. But Taliban defectors said that the relentless American bombing had really affected their morale. The U. S. military strategy going into the Afghan conflict was not a new one – begin with an air war – heavy bombing to "soften up" your enemy before the ground forces make a move. As we learned in that Gulf War, and in many other battles, that can lead to a surprisingly quick victory.