The New York Post has and interesting article about the battle for Tora Bora in 2001 that sheds new light on how Osama Bin Laden got away.
Most of the the article rehashes what I’ve read previously… That the US relied on its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan to block his escape. What caught my eye though was this paragraph:
What went wrong? One, the US unwisely trusted Pakistan to patrol its border. Two, NATO allies objected to the use of “GATOR” mines, which are dropped from planes and could have sealed up the Tora Bora area. But mostly, Fury says the decision to let Afghan allies form “the tip of the spear” was the biggest mistake. “The idea worked like a charm when we faced a common foe, the oppressive Taliban . . . but they were fighting Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden . . . we might as well have been asking for them to fight the Almighty Prophet Mohammed himself.” Bin Laden thought the US would invade Tora Bora with a large ground force, like the Soviets had, and cut and run at the first casualties, like in Mogadishu. Instead, Delta Force units dressed as Afghans were dispatched, assigned to advise and sometimes accompany Afghan forces, who were paid for their efforts. Fury describes a CIA agent bringing in a canvas bag of $250,000 in cash for Hazret Ali’s services.
That’s the first I’ve ever heard about two NATO allies blocking the use of GATOR mines… I’m curious to know which of our erstwhile allies it was… mining potential escape routes would have been a effective way keeping Bin Laden bottled up.