More trouble for U.S. in Pakistan

Here’s news that highlights the difficulty that President Obama will have making a decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan: U.S. intelligence sources are reporting that the Taliban has established a safe haven in Pakistan, from which they are planning attacks on Afghanistan.

The Washington Post reports:

As a result, Pakistani and foreign analysts here said, Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, has suddenly emerged as an urgent but elusive new target as Washington grapples with the Taliban’s rapidly spreading arc of influence and terror across Afghanistan.

Obviously, the U.S. doesn’t have enough troops to “clear and hold” both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The report also reinforces the view of Vice-President Joe Biden, who believes that Pakistan represents a greater threat to U.S. interests than Afghanistan does. After all, Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And if that country should fall to the Taliban, then nukes would easily end up in the hands of al-Qaida.

23 comments Add your comment

joe matarotz

September 29th, 2009
12:47 pm

Not for nothing Cynthia, but the correct spelling is Al-Qaeda.

And what about this ‘news’? What is your suggestion? Do you have a suggestion? What are you trying to say? Have you beaten that pesky solitaire game yet?

jconservative

September 29th, 2009
12:55 pm

Pakistan has always been the greater US national interest. Afghanistan was just a sideshow because of Al Qaeda. And the real problem is that
the Pakistani secret service has strong ties to the Taliban.

Obama’s problem is that Afghanistan is wrapped up with 9/11. When Bush failed to get bin Laden he should have pulled out of Afghanistan.
He did not and then decided to nation build. So you have a general in Afghanistan who would like to do what any good soldier does, win.
But neither McChrystal nor Obama/Biden/Clinton/Gates can say what winning will look like.

“It’s a puzzlement.”

TnGelding

September 29th, 2009
3:19 pm

The U.S. doesn’t but the world does, not that I’m endorsing that. Let’s talk? At least the Pakistan government is now taking it seriously. I look for Obama to adopt a new strategy in Afghanistan, more or less blaming the failure on Bush’s support of Karzai, and increase air strikes in Pakistan.

Hal

September 29th, 2009
3:35 pm

To make their rule permanent, the State rulers need to induce their subject masses to acquiesce in at least the legitimacy of their rule. For this purpose the State has always taken a corps of intellectuals to spin apologia for the wisdom and the necessity of the existing system.

The apologia differ over the centuries; sometimes it is the priestcraft using mystery and ritual to tell the subjects that the king is divine and must be obeyed; sometimes it is Keynesian liberals using their own form of mystery to tell the public that government spending, however seemingly unproductive, helps everyone by raising the GNP and energizing the Keynesian “multiplier.”

But everywhere the purpose is the same — to justify the existing system of rule and exploitation to the subject population; and everywhere the means are the same — the State rulers sharing their rule and a portion of their booty with their intellectuals.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

September 29th, 2009
3:56 pm

Well at least Obama is not screwing around on something that, in the big picture, is not important and beneath the dignity of a president while packing in a few more vacation days in Europe.

rdh

September 29th, 2009
4:05 pm

Afghanistan, like Somalia, is a tribal mess. There is not a central force big enough, strong enough, or unifying enough to persuade the different tribes and the Taliban that central rule is preferable. We went into Afghanistan to get bin Laden. When the Taliban decided to give him safe harbor, they had to be dismantled in order to persue the true target. Along the way, we tried to establish things like Democracy, and economy, and rights for women and girls. But, like the Russians and British before us, Afghanistan is a large, isolated and desperate country ruled by Muslim fundamentalists, poppies and tribal culture. Those in power see no reason to give up that power, and (barring an unimaginably large occupying army) are isolated enough to hold that power. Pakistan is NOT Afghanistan, but the fundamentalist Muslims in Pakistan have been emboldened by first hand witness to the inability of an occupying force to subdue Afghanistan. There is no win/win situation here for the U.S. or Obama, and there never was. The best we could have ever hoped for was to send Al-Qaeda underground and keep them there. Nation building was never a possibility,and the attempt has only served to destabilize Pakistan.

Shaneneeee Faneneeeeeee

September 29th, 2009
4:19 pm

Obama is not worried about this problem, he is more concerned about getting the Olympics to Chicago, ironically enough where he was a Senator, so some of his buddies can benefit from having the games in the windy city. Change, Change we are already sick of.

Roekest

September 29th, 2009
4:20 pm

“Obviously, the U.S. doesn’t have enough troops to “clear and hold” both Afghanistan and Pakistan”

Too bad you’re not too educated on the subject, obviously. The problem isn’t the entire country of Pakistan; it’s the tribal areas between Afghanistan and “lawful” Pakistan. These tribal areas have been a huge problem for the Pakis too.

But hey, BO and his old lady have WAY more important things to do, like pimping Chicago for the Olympics in Copenhagen. So as Rome burns, Nero fiddles away. I’m sure this was the “Change” we all envisioned….

Joan

September 29th, 2009
6:24 pm

We will never win this war unless we draft everyone who is out of work right now, and send them in there to occupy, and even then, without changing their fundamental religion and philosophy you can’t win. I say come on home, and let them all go to he… over there. And yes, our celebrity President who spends about 10 minutes behind his desk for every 4 hours parading around like some show dog, isn’t the heavyweight to take on a war like this.

TnGelding

September 29th, 2009
8:11 pm

They might think they have a safe haven in Pakistan. They’d better sleep with both eyes open!

TnGelding

September 29th, 2009
8:12 pm

Joan

September 29th, 2009
6:24 pm

I’m disappointed. I was looking for more Clinton, less Bush on work habits.

Joe

September 29th, 2009
9:58 pm

The most dangerous person on earth is the arrogant intellectual who lacks the humility
necessary to see that society needs no masters and cannot be planned from the top down.

TnGelding

September 29th, 2009
10:38 pm

rdh

September 29th, 2009
4:05 pm

Good analysis, and many said the same thing before the ill-advised invasion.

An e-mail to Bookman:

How much worse does it have to get in Afghanistan…

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:17 AM
To: “Jay Bookman”

…before you can admit that was a mistake, too? The Taliban could have no more handed over UBL on 09/12 than we could have Eric Robert Rudolph. The Bush administration was working with them to eradicate poppy plants before 09/11 and should have, along with the rest of the world, put tremendous pressure on them to go after al Qaeda. And, of course, (not that I would recommend it) suspected training grounds could have been bombed.

I’ve read and heard that the Clinton administration had a submarine stationed in the Indian Ocean targeting UBL, but haven’t been able to find out when and why it was moved. Do you know?

(The Taliban was given 26 days to cooperate before the invasion began.)

Aristocrat

September 30th, 2009
2:59 am

US can bomb Pakistan, whenever it wants, the threat of throwing Pakistan into the Stone Age is futile as it is impossibe for US to do that. Leaving aside Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, rest of Pakistan is already living in the Stone Age. The US cannot harm Pakistan as much as the people (including both the elite and the cliched comman man) is harming Pakistan everyday. Pakistan is already in a mess, I beleive it will be a blessing in disguise, If US intervenes and once for all end the miseries of 170 million animals. Bring it on!

ThePlainTruth

September 30th, 2009
5:26 am

This is nothing new. Obama said during the campaign that he would go into Pakistan and Hillary chastised him for it. Its amazing what one will say on the campaign trail.

Oh well, the President has more important things to do this week anyway, like jet off to Denmark and argue for the Olympic Games for 2016. Hope the country is still here in 2016.

ck hall

September 30th, 2009
6:11 am

Sounds like George Bush decisions might have been best in Pakistan/Afghanistan, huh?
Obama is finding out it is relatively easy to get elected but tough to govern! His on the job training continues..Maybe Obama can win the Olympics for Valerie Jarrett and her Real Estate holdings while soldiers are dying..

Pit Bull

September 30th, 2009
6:18 am

For all of you “enlightened” folks, it’s called “Multi-Tasking”. I know that’s virgin ground for those of you still celebrating the previous administraton, put people do it daily. If I were Obama, I would not spend another nano-second trying to clean-up the middle-east mess that the son-of-a-bush left behind.

TnGelding

September 30th, 2009
6:20 am

ck hall

September 30th, 2009
6:11 am

Except for the initial invasion? Yeah, it looks like he realized rather quickly he had made a mistake. Why didn’t he just get out after ousting the Taliban?

Proud American

September 30th, 2009
9:19 am

We can not handcuff our military, we are fighting a WAR. T he objective of war is to defeat your enemy by 1. killing him, or 2. pound him in to submission, this cannot be done from the white house. The only role the white house should play is to listen to what the Generals ask for and to give them everything needed to win period.
I think we should tell all citizens of that area they have twelve hours to reach a safe zone or they face total annilation along with all enemy combatants. Once our ENEMY knows we aim to kill him with any and all means, then he will submit or perish.
WE CAN NOT BE WEAK IN THE FACE OF OUR ENEMY.

Gawingnut

September 30th, 2009
9:51 am

Proud American is right. But we’ve been handcuffing our Military since Viet Nam. I can imagine George Patton taking a phone call form Ike: What do you mean I can’t shoot at ‘em in a Mosque?

When the American public, and the 535 dimwitted cowards n Washington realize that war is ugly and people get killed, maybe things will change. But don’t look for it too soon. It’s not the ability, which we have, its the will to win.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 30th, 2009
9:52 am

Is Obama going to be on Letterman this week?

Come all ye children

September 30th, 2009
10:01 am

Attention: Attention: All progressive liberals need to sign up for the military immediately. We need to save out annointed one from defeat and disgrace. Hurry progressive liberals join the military today. Help save Obama mm mmm mm!

William

September 30th, 2009
10:01 am

Enter your comments here