Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A roadmap for dealing with Pakistan

Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan attacked three NATO supply trucks on Tuesday, officials said. The New York Times reported on Tuesday evening that Pakistanis had been responsible for a 2007 ambush on U.S. soldiers.

The summer as waned and fall will soon usher in our second decade in the long war in Afghanistan. Last week troubling news about the often suspected and now confirmed involvement against our forces by Pakistan have come to light. Thomas Barnett has this excellent analysis of the situation and offers up five reasons for walking away from Pakistan and leaving her next door neighbors to checkmate her regional miss-behavior. Tom wrote this to introduce his column for Esquire's Political Blog.
In the wake of Admiral Mike Mullen offering such electrifying testimony last week, various commentators — and respectable ones, like Christopher Hitchens and Dexter Filkins — are circling the "long war" question of the moment: What to do about Pakistan? And it's clear to anybody with a brain at this point that Pakistan has abused our trust and military assistance as much as — or worse than — we have long abused that fake state in our pursuit of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. So now, as the West's fiscal crisis kicks into high gear, progressively denuding us of NATO allies while Congress finally gets serious about reining in the Pentagon's vast budget, we've come to a clear tipping point in the whole Af-Pak intervention as its tenth year of operations draws to a close.
My advice here is simple: It is time for both Afghanistan and Pakistan to stop being our problem and ours alone to solve. The Bush-Cheney unilateralism segued right into the Obama-Biden version: We simply refuse to deal with the regional powers, all of which want a far bigger say in how this whole thing settles out. Instead of working with India, China, Russia, Turkey, and Iran — and accepting that their more vigorous management of the situation would mean "victories" for them and not us — we've chosen consistently to side with Pakistan, which not only wants but is committed to keeping the region unstable.
Barnett continues by serving up five reasons, outlined below:

1. Focus on the Arab Spring instead.
2. Follow Al Qaeda elsewhere where it's really going.
3. Make new friends. And make China babysit.
5. Leave 'em be.

Now take a few minutes to read over what he is proposing and see if the logic floats?

Read More:
Pakistan America Relations

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