What Pakistan Wants

Pakistan’s Parliament is debating what it wants from the U. S. to resume full diplomatic relations, including re-opening of NATO’s supply route to Afghanistan.  What’s Urdu for chutzpah?

They want us to pay to transport our supplies to Afghanistan.  Because, you know, that $20 billion we’ve given them since 9/11 just isn’t enough.

They want us to apologize for  a mistaken attack that killed 24 of their soldiers near the Afghan border last November, a mistake that was partly their fault.  Where’s their apology for hiding bin Laden all those years?

And the big one, the ain’t-gonna-happen one, is that they want us to end our drone strikes against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  Nothing about their ending sanctuary for terrorists.  The drone strikes are one of the few smart, successful things we are doing in that part of the world.

Our response to this crap?  I think we should go with Richard Armitage’s approach, when he called then-President Musharraf after 9/11 and threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age. (We can’t make that threat against Afghanistan, since they are already in the Stone Age).  We can’t be allied with Pakistan when they are providing safe haven and support to our enemies.  The friend of our enemy is our enemy too.

Mitt and Rick Not Profiles in Courage on Afghanistan

Both Mitt and Santorum find it easy to criticize President Obama’s handling of Afghanistan.  But when it comes to offering their own solutions, they’re not so bold.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Santorum said we should either commit to winning or get out.  Which course would he take as commander in chief?  He wouldn’t say.

Same with Mitt.  On “Fox News Sunday,” he spouted word salad worthy of Sarah Palin in trying to address Afghanistan without committing himself to a policy position.  He said he needed to consult with our commanders on the ground before saying what he’d do.  But everyone knows enough about what’s going on to formulate the broad outlines of a policy.  We know about the corruption, about the slow progress in training the Afghan army and police, about our soldiers being killed by Afghans who are supposedly working with us, about the continued safe havens for the Taliban in Pakistan that let them elude us.

I think it’s reasonable to expect GOP candidates who accuse Obama of failing in Afghanistan to explain what they would do differently and how they would succeed.




The NYT reports* that the stumbling block to fixing our relations with Pakistan (which make our relations with Afghanistan look idyllic) is our drone strikes.  If they would stop providing a safe haven to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, to those who plot against us here at home and do cross-border raids against our troops in Afghanistan, we wouldn’t need to use our drones in Pakistan.

We’re not flying drones all over Pakistan.  95% of our strikes are in Waziristan, which is where the bad guys have sanctuary, and Pakistan refuses to kick them out.

The Bush Doctrine makes it clear that if you help or harbor terrorists, we will treat you as terrorists.  Pakistan is lucky that our drone strikes are as limited as they are.  They aren’t paying the price they should for their perfidy and double dealing.

*”Drones At Issue As U. S. Rebuilds Ties To Pakistan,” Declan Walsk, Eric Schmitt, and Ihsanullah Tipu Medhsud.

The Lies of Mitt Romney, Continued

Mitt is falsely and bizarrely attacking President Obama for a policy of “appeasement and apology.”

Whom are we appeasing?  What Hitler is out there gobbling up territory while we sit by?

To whom has the President apologized?  For what?  Was our apology accepted?

If the President were perceived as weak, other countries would be messing with us, like China and Russia and North Korea.  No provocations are taking place.

Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz, the President said that was a red line they shouldn’t cross, and the Straits of Hormuz remained open, as they will, by force if necessary.

The President is having DoD make our Massive Ordnance Penetrator, our “bunker-buster” bomb, even more powerful so that it can go deeper before exploding.  The only reason to do this is in preparation for a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The President is aggressively fighting the war on terror.  Besides Bin Laden, he has gotten many other top Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.  He’s doing many more drone strikes than Bush did, not just in Pakistan, but in Yemen and Somalia.

I feel much safer with Obama as Commander in Chief than I would with the timid Mitt.


Oh, No, Pakistan Is Breaking Up With Us!

What’s the world coming to when $20 billion can’t buy you some love?

The NYT reports* that the Obama administration is “facing the reality that its broad security partnership with Pakistan is over….”  This broad security partnership was always more wishful thinking on our part than fact.  Pakistan has been double dealing and playing both sides in the middle since 9/12/01.  They consistently did the absolute minimum required to keep the aid spigot from getting turned off.

The immediate cause for the rupture is our airstrike that killed 26 of their soldiers in November.  But that airstrike only highlighted the underlying lack of trust on both sides.  It happened because we wouldn’t tell them about our planned operations against terrorists, for fear the Pakistanis would tip them off, and they wouldn’t tell us where their soldiers were stationed.

I say, cut the aid, continue the drone attacks (which haven’t occurred since November 16).  If we really want to recognize who and what they are, we can add them to the list of state sponsors of terror, as they richly deserve.

*”U.S. Preparing For Pakistanis To Curtail Ties,” by Eric Schmitt

What’s a Word When “Outrageous” Doesn’t Quite Cut It?

I don’t know what chutzpah is in Urdu, but whatever it is, the Pakistanis are certainly displaying it.

We’ve given Pakistan over $21 billion in aid since 9/11.  But apparently that’s not good enough.  They are going to “tax” the supplies that we ship through Pakistan to Afghanistan.  This tax on each shipping container and fuel tanker is expected to increase our costs by one-third.

With friends like these…  Except of course, Pakistan is not really our friend at all, it’s a state sponsor of terrorism.


The Friend of Our Enemy Is Our Enemy

In the Middle East, they say the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  When it comes to our relationship with Pakistan, we have to recognize that the friend of our enemy is our enemy.

The NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and led to Pakistan’s closing both our military supply routes into Afghanistan just reinforces that our calling Pakistan an “ally” is absurd.  We have different regional goals and strategic interests from them.   We have not done nearly enough to tie our billions in aid to cooperation and results in going after the terrorists.

We have made progress on developing alternative routes into Afghanistan from Central Asia, but meanwhile our vehicles stranded in Pakistan right now are sitting ducks for terrorists.

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons make a frustrating relationship incredibly more complicated and dangerous and serve as an object lesson that we must stop Iran from joining the nuclear club.

The Republican Foreign Policy Debate

The gap in knowledge and intelligence between Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman is like the entire history of human evolution.  They are like bookends.

Huntsman was right both that Gen. Kayani is in charge and that the ISI is part of the military, so those who were talking about all these power centers and competing actors in Pakistan are wrong.


A Victory in the War on Terror

Americans reading that Pakistan has normalized trade relations with India may think this is irrelevant to their lives, but actually it helps lessen the risk of another terror attack here.  Any lessening of tensions between India and Pakistan moves Pakistan further along the path of realizing that its number one threat is Islamic terror, not Hindu India.

Pakistan harbors and supports terrorists to use as proxies in its conflict with India.  The more that tension is eased, the less reason Pakistan has to back the terrorists who are fighting us in Afghanistan and plotting to strike us here.

Trade negotiations don’t get the headlines and attention of drone strikes, but this news is a victory for the U. S.  in the War on Terror.


Clarifying Our Goals in Afghanistan

Today’s NYT story “U. S. Seeks Aid from Pakistan in Peace Effort” says that Pakistani leaders “are confused by a lack of clarity in the administration’s long-term goals in Afghanistan.”

Our long-term goals are to get our troops the heck out of there and let the Afghanis go back to enjoying the seventh century.  The British learned they couldn’t bring Afghanistan into the nineteenth century, the Russians learned they couldn’t bring it into the twentieth century, and we have learned that we can’t bring it into the twenty-first.

We really have no interest in Afghanistan qua Afghanistan.  We just need to use a little bit of their territory so our drones and special forces can attack terrorists in Pakistan.

I hope that’s clear now.  You’re welcome, Pakistan.