Target Pakistan

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To be sure, this act by Pakistan does not, by itself, pose a mortal danger to the NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan. NATO can sustain its forces through other overland routes and through air transport (including, interestingly, flights through Russian airspace), though at much greater cost. That being said, given that the Pakistani land routes account for roughly half of the supplies NATO ships into Afghanistan, the disruption, while not immediately fatal, is highly worrisome. As NATO supply convoys have stood idle inside Pakistan, awaiting permission to cross the border, Taliban militants have enjoyed something of a shoot-off, attacking and destroying several large shipments of fuel and supplies badly needed by the forces to the north. American units are attempting to find novel solutions to the disruption to fuel supplies, but a full and proper resolution to the situation will require the cooperation of the Pakistani authorities, both to permit the convoys to proceed into Afghanistan, and to provide increased security to protect them while they remain inside Pakistan.

Towards this end, America has deployed its diplomatic carrots and has apologized on several occasions to Pakistan for the unfortunate loss of their soldiers. This included an official apology by the United States to Pakistan, delivered by Joint Chiefs commander Admiral Mike Mullen to his Pakistani counterpart. Officials on both sides, speaking anonymously, consider it likely that the American apologies will likely be sufficient to permit the pro-American elements within Pakistan’s power structure to begin reopening the border in the near term, which will help put the immediate crisis in the past.

But the fundamental problem remains, which is where America is finding a use for its sticks alongside the carrots. The attacks by unmanned drones have continued. Special operations forces are reported to be actively, and heavily, engaged in northern Pakistan, seeking out and destroying terror cells and then slipping quietly back into the night. (The New York Times reports that sometimes as many as a dozen attacks are launched inside Pakistan each night.) General Petraeus, commanding all Allied forces inside Afghanistan, has also apparently made clear the willingness (and increasingly ability, thanks to the surge) of the Allied forces to invade Pakistan and take the fight directly to the Taliban in their traditional safe havens.

It is unlikely that NATO will choose to invade Pakistan, at least in any large operations. Pakistan is already unstable enough, not to mention nuclear-armed, and large numbers of foreign troops storming its territory, even in an anti-terrorism operation, could easily lead to catastrophe. And the Obama administration is more interested in ending wars than launching new ones. But recent events have served to remind both sides of their interests. Pakistan has certainly reminded the West that its sovereignty must be respected and that they control the routes in Afghanistan. But by invading its airspace and continuing to build up troops in Afghanistan, the Allies are showing Pakistan just as clearly that our needs in the theater are vital and that we will not tolerate Taliban militants destabilizing Afghanistan from inside Pakistani territory.

For now, Pakistan and the West need each other. But given how unstable Pakistan is, and how dangerous that part of the world can be, no one should be surprised if the future brings rapid, dangerous change. Our fighting in Pakistan may just be beginning.

Matt Gurney is an editor at the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, and writes and speaks on military and geopolitical issues. He can be reached at matt@mattgurney.ca. Follow him on Twitter: @mattgurney.

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  • proxywar

    Did you know we have contractors over there with ties to the taliban? What the hell.

  • Ret. Marine

    While it may be frustrating to both sides, it is not a matter of separate interest, in fact it is necessary for both sides to remain in the cooler heads mode while trying to eliminate the enemies of both. The taliban may make a move to try and over throw the government of the Pak's, they have given all indications of it in the past and seem not to be avoiding the issue to this day. There are elements in the ISI, Pak's intelligence who have long ties with the Talib's, or the students. They helped in the formation of this radical group and were in fact both monetarily with moral guidance when they took control of Aghanistan in the early nineties. Call it a buffer to the region. obamas Bin Ly'n during the campaign trail for pres. spoke of invading the Pak's then and everyone wrote him off as not being serious, I wonder now just what these same people are thinking to these days.

  • BUTSeriously

    This is one hell hole where they can't blame the Zionist entity. But no one can be certain it won't pop up. Otherwise, Israel is always a light unto the nations. It not the Israelis, stupid.

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    Pakistan doesn't need us. They have China and could easily have Russia on their side. They also have Iran on their side. We should not be supporting a country that was behind the attacks on Mumbai and whose citizens contantly murder our troops. We should be supporting India.

    • aspacia

      At the moment we need Pakistan. They do little, but we do need to continue our drone attacks and supply routes.

      Can you imagine what would happen if Pakistan turned totally hostile? They have nukes and the government is barely in control. If this area explodes, as it very well may do, we would have to launch a 3rd front and this would be military insanity.

  • welldoneson

    The ease with which Taliban forces are blowing up the convoys the Pakis have left stranded tells us all we need to know about Pakistan. It's infested with trigger-happy jigaboos who won't hesitate to attack civilian targets in Pakistan if they bloody well feel like it.
    The Taliban, as with most Islamist forces, routinely undertake suicide missions.
    The mere fact that they won't survive a mission means nothing to them.
    This is why we MUST target them wherever they are. The Pakis know this, all they need to do is train their men to NOT shoot at NATO troops. Seems a no brainer…

    • tom

      You are so wise.

    • aspacia

      The fundamentalists have been massacring nonMuslims for a very long time.

    • tim

      jigaboos?

      now that made me laugh. now that the whole world is filled with jigaboos, they call you a racist for using that term.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Given Pakistan’s extremely valuable strategic location, however, directly south of the primary front of the war against Islamism in Afghanistan, the preservation of a working relationship with Islamabad is, frustratingly, essential.

    No it’s not. We have absolutely nothing to win in Afghanistan. The fact that we are still in Afghanistan today after 9 long years is a testament to the fact that delusional useful idiots have hijacked our government and indeed our military as well.

    Meanwhile, Pakistan is home to over 150 terrorist training camps and it has a nuclear arsenal and nuclear weapons program that is a threat to the world. Yet instead of eradicating those terrorist training camps and destroying Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons program so it want fall into the hands of jihadists, the USA is still stuck in Afghanistan propping up a Sharia state that it helped to establish and trying to win the hearts and minds of Muhammadans who are obligated to hate our guts per the Koran no matter what we do for them, and it’s all because our government and military have been thoroughly penetrated by Muhammadans and the useful idiots that hijacked our government and military are accepting advice from Muhammadan infiltrators without question.

    Pakistan is already unstable enough, not to mention nuclear-armed, and large numbers of foreign troops storming its territory, even in an anti-terrorism operation, could easily lead to catastrophe.

    Actually, we should obliterate the 150 terrorist training camps we have identified and take out Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons programs and then leave, as Muhammadans killing Muhammadans inside Dar al Islam is good for us, Dar al Harb, and bad for them, Dar al Islam, if anyone understands how this war between Islamic civilization and Western civilization should be fought. Hence, what you call and claim to be catastrophe is actually what we should be seeking to do not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also throughout Dar al Islam (the Islamic world), while at the same time the West also expels the millions of Muhammadans that have infiltrated Europe, America, Australia, and Canada! Finally, unless we confiscate the oil wealth and oil assets of the financers and funders of jihad, they will simply continue to use that enormous oil wealth to pursue jihad per the dictates of Islam against Western civilization forever.

    • tom

      Pakistan’s nukes or for self defense and Pakistan has not threatens anyone with its nukes. Pakistan lost ½ of country to India. Pakistan’s nukes are in response to India’s nukes. India started the nuke game. Pakistan was US friend from the 50s when US used to fly spy plans from Pakistan and India was a USSR client state and still manufactures MIG 29 Russians planes. Pakistan put its neck on the line for USA during USSR invasion of Afghanistan. Pakistan was left with 9 million Afghan refugees, their drugs and guns and Mujahideen now Talaban. US not only left Pakistan high and dry but also designated Pakistan a terrorist state.

      US spent about $400 billions in 10 years on Afghan war with no result yet. US promised $10 billions to Pakistan in 10 year period. US used Pakistan’s ports, roads, caused major internal and economic problems as Pak government siding with USA against the will of people.
      Today India is our best friend since we are hoping to make couple of bucks and hoping it will be ready to stand up to China. Wake up USA and see who is our friend. We can not kill Pakistanis and ask there help in the same day.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Pakistan’s nukes or for self defense and Pakistan has not threatens anyone with its nukes. Pakistan lost ½ of country to India. Pakistan’s nukes are in response to India’s nukes. India started the nuke game.

        With all due respect, that is a ridiculous crock of crap! Pakistan could totally get rid of all its nukes and totally disband and disarm its military and not face a threat whatsoever emanating from India. However, if India did the same thing, Pakistan wouldn’t wait one iota before it invaded India. The reality is Pakistan is pursuing a jihad against the kafir infidel Hindus in India and that jihad like all other jihads around the world is permanent.

        Moreover, Pakistan has far more nukes than it needs to destroy India. Hence, it is obvious that Pakistan is hoping to become the nuclear supermarket for the Sunni Islamic world as soon as Iran renders the Nonproliferation Treaty null and void and not worth the paper it is printed on.

        Likewise, Israel’s neighbors could also all totally disarm and not face a threat whatsoever emanating from Israel. However, if Israel disarmed, the Jews would be annihilated immediately as Islam is also pursuing permanent jihad against the kafir infidel Jews in Israel.

        Pakistan was US friend

        Give me a break! Pakistan is part of Islamic civilization, which is pursuing a civilizational jihad of conquest against Western Civilization. Pakistan is the enemy of the West and the entire non-Islamic world.

        US not only left Pakistan high and dry but also designated Pakistan a terrorist state.

        Go sell your garbage to a guilt filled delusional self-hating leftist loon or a Ron Paul anarcho kook. I’m not buying your absurd crap!

        US spent about $400 billions in 10 years on Afghan war with no result yet.

        The US should have obliterated OBL and AQ and then left ASAP. It had no business jumping into the middle of a the jihad between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, as Muhammadans killing Muhammadans is good for us, Dar al Harb, and bad for them, Dar al Islam. Nevertheless, not in your best nightmare has the US come close to blowing $400 billion in Afghanistan. The mission in Afghanistan has been extremely fantasy-based and very counterproductive, but again no way have we even come close to blowing $400 billion in Afghanistan.

        US promised $10 billions to Pakistan in 10 year period.

        If I have anything to do with it, no way Pakistan gets another nickel from the USA.

        US used Pakistan’s ports, roads, caused major internal and economic problems as Pak government siding with USA against the will of people.

        Pakistan’s problems are 100 percent due to Islam, blame others if you want but it will not solve their problems.

        Today India is our best friend since we are hoping to make couple of bucks and hoping it will be ready to stand up to China. Wake up USA and see who is our friend. We can not kill Pakistanis and ask there help in the same day.

        If it were up to me, after we did what I suggested we do in my previous post, we should give our 100 percent undivided support to India and let Pakistan stew in its own Islamic paradise. Screw them!

      • aspacia

        No, India lost its land to create Pakistan. Read some history. All of Pakistan was once part of India.

      • caleb

        hello tom pakistan best friend yeah sure utilized us aid for their aims which is take on india by building islamic terror group by radical brainwashing hate of infidel with a religious appeal coupled with modern military warfare training the results are disastrous to see i say cut off aid topakistan unlimited supplies can be had from former cis nations the cost may be higher but can be compensated by cutting military and economic aid to pakiland

    • aspacia

      We are not correctly prosecuting the war. We needed to march in, create a secular government as we did in WWII, and outlaw Sharia.

      If we leave Afghanistan the Taliban will march in massacring any opponents, and ruthlessly rule the land, aiding and abetting more terrorist activities.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        We are not correctly prosecuting the war. We needed to march in, create a secular government as we did in WWII, and outlaw Sharia.

        Good luck with that, as a secular democracy consisting of manmade laws is according to Islam an abomination that must be destroyed, since any government other than Sharia is a sin. If you want to instigate an insurgency that would be absolutely unwinnable and would last forever, try creating a secular democracy in Pakistan. You want to talk fantasy-based mission, now that would be a fantasy-based mission.

        In stark contrast to you, I’m 100 percent opposed to ever occupying any Muhammadan country ever again. Indeed, it was stupid to ever occupy Afghanistan and it was just as stupid to occupy Iraq. We should have left both theaters as soon as our objectives had been achieved.

        If we leave Afghanistan the Taliban will march in massacring any opponents, and ruthlessly rule the land, aiding and abetting more terrorist activities.

        Well if you read my first post, you would have seen I advocated blowing to oblivion the 150 plus terrorist camps we have identified in Pakistan along with destroying Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons program.

        With respect to the Taliban marching in and massacring any opponents goes, we had no business jumping into the middle of the jihad that was ongoing between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban. If we had been smart, we would have armed the Northern Alliance with weapons just enough to equal out the two opposing sides, so that the jihad between the two opposing factions would have lasted for as long as possible as Muhammadans killing Muhammadans inside Dar al Islam is good for us, Dar al Harb, and bad for them, Dar al Islam.

        In other words, had the Bush administration not been so incredibly incompetent, it would have limited the mission in Afghanistan to the eradication of OBL and AQ only and it never would have occupied Afghanistan for the purpose of pursuing a fantasy based nation-building mission to lift up Muhammadans out of poverty, since poverty, despair, and illiteracy have nothing whatsoever to do with jihad or the motivations for jihad.

        Hence, let us let the jihad in Afghanistan between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban resume. Why should we continue to sacrifice American lives to prop up a Sharia state that we helped create? I could care less about the Afghanistan Muhammadans, as they would cut our throats in a New York second if they were capable. Not to mention that the country is a backwards medieval backwater and a backwards medieval backwater hardly represents an existential threat to a superpower like the USA.

        Let Afghanistan go, there is nothing to win over there, and if they create terrorist camps subsequently, then lets obliterate them. However, we don’t have to occupy the country forever to do that.

  • http://www.confessionsofamovieaddict.com Lily

    A stable, democratic, prosperous Pakistan is considered vital to U.S. interests. U.S. concerns regarding Pakistan include regional and global terrorism; Afghan stability; democratization and human rights protection

    • aspacia

      Ha, read what Pakistanis claim about the West; most hate us and want Sharia Law.

  • crackerjack

    In the 80s, the US created the monster it now fights, feeding, arming and financing the radical Islamists in Afghanistan and along the Pakistan border against the Soviets. where were "stability", "democrization", "humanright", etc then?

    • hijinx60

      In the 80's didn't we hear quite a bit about the US supporting "pakistani freedom fighters"? translate=muslim Jihadists

    • aspacia

      We supplied them to fight the Soviets who we designated our prime enemy during the 80's. Times changed, and now fundamentalist Islam is the prime enemy.

      During the mid 1700's England was our prime enemy.

      Time and the political sands change and we must adjust accordingly.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Yeah right. The US provided minor assistance to the mujahideen in Afghanistan as part of Reagan’s multifaceted comprehensive strategy to destroy the Soviet Union, in return for low oil prices by OPEC controlled Saudi Arabia to also starve the Soviet Union’s only source of revenue. It worked, over the long run the Soviet Union eventually weakened and then finally collapsed, and now their power vacuum has been filled by the global jihad.

      However, you are wrong in this regard, we didn’t create the monster we now fight via our minor assistance to the mujahideen in the 80s. That is leftwing and anarcho kook blame America first garbage. Oil wealth created via the massive amount of wealth transferred from the West to the Islamic world as a direct result of oil production is what created the Islamic monster we now fight.

      Hence, the solution: Confiscate their oil wealth and oil assets or otherwise they will continue using it forever to wage jihad against Western civilization.

      Finally, to seal the deal, the Taliban was the creation of Pakistan’s ISI with the financial assistance of the Saudis, and they were also created in the over a thousand Saudi sponsored madrassas inside Pakistan. In fact, that is where their name originates too as those madrassa students were and still are today called Talabs.

  • Guest

    If Imamobama is taking the handcuffs off our miltary then he's doing something right for a change – no doubt for the wrong reasons. These politically correct, "nation-building" operations are more in the nature of social work than war. We fight on the enemy's terms with Rules of Engagement that amount to "don't hurt anyone or break anything". Our troops are tacitly required to sacrifice their own life rather than to kill any alleged civilians. That's not war its suicide. Stupid.

  • welldoneson

    I have noticed that those who have English as a second language tend to pluralize money amounts, i.e. "$10 billions". I have also noticed that such ESL voices are usually voices for the opposition, i.e. Islamist propagandists.

  • badaboo

    Gee , shoot at helicopters to let them know you're freindly ….good idea huh ….hmmm, I wonder about that . At any rate pakistan's got to make a choice , and that is whose side are they on . So now it's Obama's doing the right thing for the wrong reasons ? Gimme a break .If he didn't go after the jihadis then you'd be bitching that he wasn't doing enough . So cut the crap . ANY president that ius going to be engaged in a fight in Afghanistan , would have no choice , these s.o.b.s run across the border , if the Pakis dont take 'em out , then we do .Else what the hell are we doing in Afghanistan ?

  • Wesley69

    Whatever we do with drone attacks and commando raid in Pakistan is good for US troops in Afghanistan in the short term. But with Obama's withdrawal date, what is the point? When we leave Afghanistan it will revert back to Tailban rule. The next target, the real prize for radical Islamists is Pakistan. It will continue to be the unstable mess it is today, but more dangerous.
    Should we abandon Pakistan and let the radicals win? Not unless we want to get involved in another war with a doubtful outcome. If we do, all the terrorist training camps need to be obliterated as well as the Pakistani nukes. The other choice is to support the military in Pakistan, even if it means military rule. There will be consequences regardless of what we do. Bet on the creation of more radical Islamic fanatics saying Death to the Great Satan!

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

    • ObamaYoMoma

      It’s only a matter of time before the jihadists eventually take over the secular military and the secular government of Pakistan. It’s inevitable. They already own the ISI. Hence, what needs to be done is very obvious: massively bomb to oblivion the 150 terrorist camps that have been identified in Pakistan and at the same time confiscate and destroy the Pakistan nuclear arsenal and nuclear weapons program.

      Further, if we leave in 2011 as Obama is planning to do without first destroying the 150 terrorist camps in Pakistan and simultaneously their nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons program and the Iranian ruling Mullahs are allowed to get nukes with impunity, then what was once a manageable situation will morph into one that isn’t manageable anymore. Since if Iran gets nukes it will render the NPT not worth the paper it is written on, and Pakistan, which already has far more nukes than it requires, will quickly become the nuclear supermarket for the Sunni world, as the Sunni world moves swiftly to counter the Shi’a menace by also arming themselves with nuclear weapons via Sunni Pakistan.

      Therefore, if that is allowed to occur, the Islamic world, which is mandated to subsume the world via the imposition of Sharia, will become armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, and what was once a manageable situation becomes suddenly unmanageable. In other words, Obama sits on the precipice of what may well become a perfect storm.

  • pappy86us

    I do concur. Pakistan is just as much our enemy as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistani ISI agents are behind a lot of the problems that we are facing over in that area. The Taliban was backed by Pakistan after the Soviet – Afghan war. The ISI has a lot of people with ties to the Taliban, either through blood, or by tribes. In addition, you have a lot of Islamic Radicals in the ISI who sympathize with the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, the current American administration does not have the fortitude to stand up tell the Pakistanis one more time, either you are with us, or against us. If you are against us, then you will face the full force of American's military. Also, stop the aid to Pakistan. All of it too. Especially the military hardware, then the money. They do not need it they are our enemy. Use the money here in the United States, or give the money back to China to pay off our debt.

  • gliverson

    My my! How quickly some folks forget how we ended up in Afghanistan to begin with….. that is, how we ended up their with our own troops against the Talibeaners.

    There is a huge info gap going on for most of the info we get, is only that which "they" want us to know. A crooked and twisted media, a bent and twisted government on all sides, and we hope to know what to do as we sit on the sidelines being spoon fed the drivel that is supposed to make us choose a wise choice? (As if anyone really cared what we think?!)

  • Wesley69

    Interesting points. India, which is a rising power itself, could be the key for US withdrawal from this region. We gain nothing by staying in Afghanistan, particularly if the President has already announced our intention to leave next year. Great strategy. Pakistan fears India and India has no qualms about taking it to the Pakistanis should trouble break out between them. The problem is the Pakistani nukes. They can not be allowed to fall into the hands of radical Islamic fantatics.

  • Wesley69

    Replying to gliverson We went in with a definitive mission: to uproot al-Qaeda, denying its sanctuary in Afghanistan and to topple the Taliban government. We did that. We made the mistake of not pursuing the bastards into Pakistan. I don't think at that time, the Pakistanis would have objected, considering our feelings after 9/11.

  • Wesley69

    Once we got involved in Iraq, the resources of the US and al-Qaeda were directed there. Al-Qaeda, as they were defeated in Iraq, shifted their focus to Pakistan and joined with the Taliban. Suicide bombers were not something the Taliban were doing after they were initially defeated. Al-Qaeda taught them that. So we face a more motivated and radicalized foe. Then again there is the corrupt mayor of Kabul, Karzai, is doing us no good. If we overthrow him, it will be like Diem in Vietnam or General Powell telling Bush, you topple the Iraqi government, you own it.

    • aspacia

      Really, then how would you describe the 19 9/11 hijackers if not suicide bombers?

  • Wesley69

    As long as Karzai is in power, we can't, even if we could, win the hearts and minds of the people. It is getting to look too similar to Vietnam. If we want to get out, wee, first, crush the Taliban in Afghanistan, then bomb the 150 or so terrorist training camps in Pakistan. They will be informed as it is happening because Pakistan, in the past, has warned al-Qaeda of impending attacks. Then, we declare victory. We invite Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Russia to a conference to help Afghanistan stabilize by dividing it into federalized provinces with Kabul at the center with reduced power. The power, as it has always been, will be in the hands of the chieftains.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • Brian B.

    Pakistan is not the target: We are! By blocking NATO supply routes after their convenient pretext, they have made NATO forces sitting ducks for their "supposed" enemies. A blockade under these circumstances is defined as an "act of war." We are the target!

    "NATO loses 150 tankers in Pakistan as supply blockade enters 10th day" http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-

    Pakistan may have become the first host country for a potential fatwa against Americans. They have even petitioned the UN to help carry their sword onto our home turf. This is not what one would call an "ally." Actions speak louder than the words of our politicos.

    "Pakistani lawyer petitions for death of Mark Zuckerberg" http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/17/zuckerber

    • Brian B.

      In 1963 President Kennedy considered blockading Cuban oil imports from Russia. He said, "To deny the oil would require, of course, a blockade, and a blockade is an act of war. . . " In 1954, President Eisenhower stated that "A blockade is an act in war to bring your adversary to your way of thinking or to his knees. . . the word 'blockade' is, so far as I know, an act of war, a part of war."

      Pakistan was being defended by NATO, despite friendly fire or collateral damage. Hence, its blockade is totally against NATO, and complicit with the Taliban. This is also totally unlike the situation with Israel blockading the further infiltration of military weapons into Gaza and its Hamas pseudo-government, that has already declared war on Israel, thereby preventing warfare.

  • truthy

    In that case your end is very near.

  • Seamystic

    Appeasement of Islam is like feeding a Steak to a Tiger, in the hope that it will develope into a Vegetarian.
    Time to take this War seriously.

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