Thoughts on Pakistan

4 05 2011

With Osama Bin Laden killed in a Pakistani suburb not far from the capital, it’s natural for people to question the nature of America’s relationship with the country.

We should be furious that the man the US spent millions of dollars hunting over the last ten years was hiding just 40 miles from a major city, ensconced in military and intelligence officials living near by.

Where is the outrage? Why isn’t President Obama taking Pakistani officials to task over this?

OBL’s death may be a major “X” on America’s foreign policy checklist, but there are at least three other facts to consider:

The US needs help with Al Qaeda- Granted, the level of cooperation thus far is extremely questionable, but Al Qaeda still has a major presence in Pakistan and help from the ISI will be critical in addressing that threat.

The US needs help pacifying Afghanistan- There is still a war going on in Afghanistan. Although OBL’s death may serve as a reason to draw down American forces there, Pakistan will remain instrumental in facilitating the transition to post-occupation.

The US needs Pakistan to counterbalance India- This is more of a long term geostrategic concern. India has nuclear weapons and over a billion people; Pakistan has nuclear weapons and over 180 million people. While India may be an ally, having The Sub-Continent sandwiched between Pakistan and China curtails its influence as it continues to emerge as a global force.

Unfortunately the United States still needs Pakistani cooperation, and will for the foreseeable future.

With friends like these…..

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One response

4 05 2011
Pat McElroy

Tricky spot indeed.

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