Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Keeping a Pakistan Campaign Pledge

President Obama seems ready to deliver on a threat Candidate Obama made over two years ago--that, if Pakistan doesn't go after its terrorists, he will.

The Surge in Afghanistan, according to White House leaks, comes with "a fairly bald warning that unless Pakistan moved quickly to act against two Taliban groups they have so far refused to attack, the United States was prepared to take unilateral action to expand Predator drone attacks beyond the tribal areas and, if needed, to resume raids by Special Operations forces into the country against Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."

In August 2007, then-Sen. Obama took flak for saying what the Bush White House was dancing around in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas:

“There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will.”

Pervez Musharraf, who bilked Bush for American billions without delivering on promises to go after those terrorists, is gone now, but the Pakistani military is still playing the same shell game, and one element of the new Afghanistan policy is to squeeze them into delivering more results for the new $7.5 billion they will be getting over the next five years.

Ever since bin Laden escaped into Pakistan eight years ago, the US has pursued a so-called “hammer and anvil” strategy to crush militants in the border areas. Until now, the American hammer in Afghanistan has been pounding against what our frustrated military calls "a Pakistani pillow, not an anvil."

The crucial results of the Afghan Surge will come less from the visible escalation there but from what happens under the radar in the arm-wrestling with a nuclear-armed, politically shaky Pakistan government that Barack Obama foresaw long before he moved into the White House.

1 comment:

Anwer Pasha said...

Actually most problems Pakistan is is now facing are the result of American policies in the past. America is supporting Islamic extremest since the era of cold war. After success against Russia it left Pakistan and Afghanistan alone and the extremest made themselves powerful and now too USA is preferring India for some economic benefits which make Pakistanis angry. From Korean war to this war against terror Pakistan was stood with America but after every spell Pakistan was left alone. Now this is time to make the things correct.