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Pakistans Present to Us: A Monkey Wrench

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  • Pakistans Present to Us: A Monkey Wrench

    Okay, here’s the plan: we pump a bunch of troops into Afghanistan and they gain an immediate combat superiority over the Taliban which enables us to pound them and drive them south and east against the anvil of the Pakistani drive into South Waziristan. Then in twelve months, our work done, we start packing up to come home.

    Did someone forget to talk this through with the Pakistanis?

    Everything’s in place, our troops are arriving, our secretary of defense is in Pakistan to work out details, and what does Pakistan announce? No military campaign against the Taliban in Pakistan for at least another year.

    Really?*Well that’s . . . inconvenient.

    Pakistan has since modified their position to include the possibility of some sort of action starting within six months, but no guarantees. Here’s the Link.

    This is neither a reflection on Pakistani fecklessness nor on U.S. strategic vision. It is*instead an illustration of the fact that in conflicts such as these we are not masters of our own destiny. We cannot win this war for the Afghans nor for the Pakistanis; at best all we can do is help them win for themselves. But if their vision of the threat and their notion of victory differ from ours, there is nothing we can do about it. The problem is we are gambling a lot of lives and treasure on their judgment, not ours.


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