Back in the day when we were all writing about Afghanistan and the Taliban that was common knowledge, conventional wisdom. John Kerry made a big deal in 2004 about Tora Bora and the wild absurdity of pulling the focus away from al Qaeda. People may have thought that was a political ploy but it wasn't. Iraq was a massive distraction and waste of time and money right in the middle of a damned serious problem with Islamic fundamentalism. There's a reason why Jim Webb called it the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory all the way back in '04. It was.
It's possible that this reconstituted Taliban are just a bunch of losers sitting in the mountains with big dreams. But if they actually did assassinated Bhutto (with the help of the Pakistan security services, which is likely) this is no joke. Pakistan is the most unstable nuclear armed country we've ever seen and the potential for catastrophe is actually quite real. The fact that we have the entire US military bogged down in a useless occupation, while the Republican candidates are running around muttering incoherently about staying there for a thousand years or waving the white flag of surrender to al Qaeda in Iraq is further testament to how delusional the GOP remains on this subject.
For years, the CIA equipped Osama and his Mujaheddin against the Russians in Afghanistan and we knew how the Paks let them support. Did we think they'd change because we threw a few bucks at them? If that weren't enough, the Brits have a history of getting their ass handed to them in that part of the world. You'd think we'd have learned from those experiences. Heh ... fat chance, but then Hitler didn't learn squat from history either when he got a hard-on for Russia.
The only way to win a war with those people is to kill every last fucking one of them. These are people who hold grudges for hundreds of years (Remember the old Shi'a - Sunni thing?); putting their plans on hold for a few years until the Americans leave is no big thing for them. They waited out the Russians, didn't they? One day, our puppet Karzai will be swinging from a tree and someone more favorable to Pakistan will be installed there. It's just a matter of time.
Sometimes, I wonder where we'd be if President Gore had taken office instead. I wonder how he would have used the 'sympathy capital' we earned on 9/11, or if 9/11 would have even happened. What a waste of 8 years.