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Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd: Patience, patience, patience
Don Shepperd is a retired U.S. Air Force major general and a military analyst for CNN.
Don Shepperd is a retired U.S. Air Force major general and a military analyst for CNN.  

Update: It's been six days since neon-green streaks began zooming across televisions, giving civilians a glimpse of air strikes in Afghanistan. So-called "bunker-buster" bombs have burrowed into subterranean Taliban weapons stockpiles, and the Department of Defense has released images showing damage to a few strategic locations. But as the United States rolls into the seventh day of strikes, it appears not much has changed.

Impact: The American public is going to get very impatient because they're going to see this bombing going on and they're not going to see any results of it other than the blowing up on TV. The reporters on yesterday started to zero in on the right question, which is, "Wait a minute. We see all this stuff blowing up, but what effect is it having? Are the lines advancing? Is the Northern Alliance under way?" The answer is, "No."

Strategy: We are after effects-based targeting in the military, but those effects don't take place for some time. It took years to build these strongholds, and they built it with our money, some of it. When they were fighting the Russians, we gave them those weapons and the money. We did it through the CIA. You have to be careful who you date, because you might end up married to them. That's why we are being so careful here with the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance is the wrong ethnic group (Tajiks and Uzbeks) to take over that country. So if we go in and create the conditions where the Northern Alliance could come in and take the whole country, there's going to be a lot of unhappy Afghans.

Tactics: Two things. It's patience, patience, patience. It's going to take a long time. And also location, location, location. It's a lousy place to fight. It's a long way away. It takes a long time to get stuff there and also these guys, the bad guys, are located in places that are tough to get to, really tough. They are dug in. They're under the mountains and it's going to be tough to get them out. We are going in, in retaliation, not revenge, for something that was done in our country -- to root out the elements that did that. We have no desire to take over that country. None. We would love to go in, do our work, and get out as quickly as possible.


U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), a former NATO supreme commander, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Grange (ret.) and Air Force Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd (ret.) are serving as CNN military analysts during the war against terror. Their briefings will appear daily on

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN is sensitive to reporting any information that could endanger lives or operations.


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