Arguably, one of the worst strategic blunders in US history. Bush/Powell trusted Mushfraf and the ISI to deliver Afghanistan and the Taliban.
US media acted as if Pakistan had no role in setting up the Taliban Afghanistan and was still a CENTO ally. Bush allowed the Kunduz Airlift. Republicans members of Congress praised the Pakistan to the heavens while trashing India.
In fact, in 1994 the Wall Street Journal had cheered the rise of the Taliban.
Not sure if India would have been willing, but using Indian forces to hunt for bin Laden and sending the likes of the ITBP into Kabul might have changed the course of history
This was the most visible of US policy blunders. The villains behind it are many:
1. Stephen Cohen, (not the smart one who talks about Ukraine, but the 'South Asia Expert' aka Uneven). He used to proclaim on his Brookings website that his greatest claim to fame was that he persuaded the GOTUS to go with Musharraf.
2. NSA Rice: a political appointee climber with lousy qualifications, who rose to a top admin position on account of her race and gender and willingness to stab colleagues in the back. As 404 as they get about 'South Asia' and Islamist realities.
3. WHOTUS Chief of Staff Armitage. He is the one who dissed the military's expression of readiness to finish off TSP the day on 9/12, and made the deal with Musharraf's ISI chief who had come to DC so he could sit across from the Pentagon watching the strike on the Pentagon, and (hoping) the strike on the COTUS. They should have put him in Guantanamo first.
4. VP D1ck Cheney. He had all the baksheesh ties to the Pakis.
5. Defense Sec. Rumsfeld. Ditto
6. US Chief of Staff Colin Bin Powell, later SoS. Ditto.
Same gang then went and invaded Iraq.
To his credit, our friend TSJ here was the one who predicted with total accuracy what stupid course the GOTUS would take.