The real threat is Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by LETHALFORCE, Dec 31, 2010.


    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Canandaigua, N.Y. —

    President Obama’s most recent assessment of how the war in Afghanistan is going concluded that “the U.S. is on track to achieve its goals.” Too bad that this is utterly irrelevant.

    Focusing on the Taliban in Afghanistan makes no sense. The real danger — and a very perilous danger it is — is Pakistan.

    For one thing, al-Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan, but is burrowed into Pakistan’s tribal regions, where the American military threat is close to non-existent. The argument that if we do not defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, they will once more provide a haven for Osama bin Laden and his thugs can easily be countered by: “OK. So what? The terrorists have a good thing going in Pakistan. Why move out of the comfort of one cave to take up residence in another, more perilous one?”

    U.S. intelligence’s best guess is that Pakistan has at least 76 nuclear warheads, some of them quite small, easily concealed and transportable. To date, Pakistan is the only country we know of that has provided nuclear weapons technology and materials to a terrorist organization — North Korea — thanks to Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. Pakistan’s nukes are not secure, being under the tenuous control of a weak government and a powerful, ambitious military whose intelligence service (the ISI) has a long history of giving quarter to very bad people, including al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It is hardly a stretch to envision a scenario whereby some of these weapons get into al-Qaeda’s hands.

    All of this could have — and should have — been foreseen in 2001 when we invaded Afghanistan, deposed the Taliban, failed to project power into Tora Bora when we had bin Laden cornered, sent al-Qaeda scurrying into neighboring Pakistan where it received a safe haven and blanket protection from the ISI, and enmeshed ourselves in an unwinnable, decade-long conflict that will change very little when the dust settles, if it ever does. Both the Bush and Obama administrations, bolstered by a somnolent and sheep-like Congress, have played into the hands of the terrorists and strengthened them immeasurably while weakening the U.S., the country they are sworn to defend.

    It is inevitable that the Taliban will eventually either retake control of Afghanistan despite anything we do, or will be part of the Afghan government, if you can call anything a government that has not had a cohesive national one since Alexander the Great and his army left the country in 330 B.C. We may have the firepower, but the Taliban have the time.

    I suspect the reasons why the administration and Congress continue down this no-win and largely irrelevant path is the same reason why weapons systems contracts that wildly overshoot their budgets continue to consume money even when the weapon proves to be less than advertised: “We’ve already invested $__ billions, so we can’t stop now or all of that money goes to waste.”

    Getting out of Afghanistan now and devising a strategy to contain the terrorist threat, keep al-Qaeda off balance, and secure Pakistan’s nukes from falling into the wrong hands is where American policy should be heading, and quickly. There is no time to lose.

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