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Wednesday, 17 January 2007
Musharrif and al-Maliki have us by our short hairs.
Topic: War on Terror

PakTribune reports:

 "Pakistani security forces attacked and destroyed three militant camps in a dawn operation in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan killing eight militants where around 25-30 fighters were hiding, a military spokesman said here Tuesday."

Strange timing for this attack. Oddly enough, it occurred at almost the same moment new SecDef Robert Gates was making his first visit to Afghanistan. There couldn't be any connection there, could there? Nah! Pervez Musharrif would never stage an attack just to impress his American benefactors, would he?

Amazingly, Gates says "Pakistan is one of America's strongest allies in the war on terror." This despite the seperate deal Musharrif made with al-Qaeda and the Talibs last September and the 200% increase in attacks in Afghanistan this past December. AP reports that "A U.S. military intelligence officer said that since the peace deal went into effect Sept. 5 the number of attacks in the border area has grown by 300 percent." 

Don't confuse Bob Gates with the facts, though: "There is no question there has been a significant increase -- I don't know the exact amount -- but a significant increase in attacks across the border, particularly from north and south Waziristan, and it is a problem." But not enough of a problem to read the riot act to the Pakistanis.

Gates said he would be working with Musharrif "to see if there is a way to reduce the violence from that side of the border." [Ha!] Maybe the Pakistani plan to mine the border and build a fence might work? Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry, Daud Moradiyan, says: "The Pakistani authorities are trying to reduce the international community's pressure by taking such initiatives. It is only a publicity campaign rather than being a practicable plan." [Sabawoon Daily News]

Such cynicism! It's not like the Talibs can pass through Pakistani army check points with impunity, right? Like Taliban commander Moulvi Abdul Jalil who moves freely from Karachi to Afghanistan without any trouble at all, according to Atimes Online. He usually goes through the Chaman crossing where he is never bothered.

And many other less well connected militants and terrorists can cross at unoffical crossings without too much trouble, too. If there were to be mines planted on the border, though, you can be sure the ISI would provide a map for their Talib clients. 

Does anyone else wonder how on eath we got stuck relying on people like Pervez Musharrif and Nuri al-Maliki to help us out of our problems? There are about to be some 160,000 troops in Iraq and there are presently about 24,000 in Afghanistan. Gates says if the generals ask him for more troops for the much anticipated Taliban Afghan spring offensive, he'll send them. Where will he get them is the question.

Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said he might have to hold an infantry battalion of the 10th Mountain Division in Afgahnistan for the rest of the year. They were scheduled to go to Iraq. But our forces aren't stretched! Far from it.

Essentially, aren't these 184,000 troops being held hostage by our good buddies Pervez and Nouri al-Maliki? Al-Maliki isn't going to go after al-Sadr and Musharrif isn't about to risk his neck trying to take on the Talibs or root OBL out of his cozy cave, probably in or near Boluchistan. (Or go after Mullah Omar in Quetta for that matter.)

We're screwed!


Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:51 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007 2:53 PM EST
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