HEW, as I noted in my subsequent post, I agree that I was wrong in saying troop levels had been reduced. The issue was that following the Tora Bora battle it was pretty clear that more troops would be needed to eliminate the Taliban. The administration basically adopted the posture that it was no longer important to capture bin Laden or to eliminate the Taliban because they had been effectively contained. The resurgence in Afghanistan and the destabilization in Pakistan have proven how wrong that judgment was.
My basis for saying the problem is worse now than it was originally is based on the growth of the power of the Taliban in Pakistan -- with the related destabilization of that gpvernment -- and the strength of the Taliban in the mountain regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan where they are much harder to dislodge militarily. At the time of our initial actions, there was no reason for the Taliban to hide in the mountains because the controlled the country. As a result, they were much easier to find and kill. A msjor increase in resources between mid 2002 and mid 2003 had the potential of permanently dislodging the Taliban and locating and killing bin Laden. That was not done because we were building up for an invasion of Iraq and were downplaying the importance of Afghanistan. As it became clear during our invasion of Iraq that the Taliban had fortified its positions in the mountain regions and were gaining new reinforcements, we responded by consolidating our forces into limited areas and ceding mush of the rest of the country to the Taliban.