5 years, 6 months ago
From the Los Angeles Times:
The U.S. needs Pakistan’s cooperation to succeed against an insurgent group that uses sanctuaries along the Afghan border from which to attack American and Afghan forces. But so far, Washington has failed to entice that cooperation — or coerce it through threats to pull billions of dollars in aid.
On Thursday, Washington embarked on a get-tough strategy — sending its top diplomat along with its top intelligence and military officers to Islamabad to deliver the blunt message: Whether or not Pakistan chooses to help, the U.S. will continue to fight the Haqqani network inside Afghanistan while seeking a negotiated end to the decade-old Afghan conflict that has taken the lives of more than 1,800 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Afghan civilians.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s arrival in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, on Thursday, accompanied by CIA Director David H. Petraeus and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, signaled the all-out nature of the bid to persuade Pakistan to cooperate.
To fight Haqqani in Afghanistan (note the absence of the threat to fight them in Pakistan), with or without Pakistan’s help, and a bid to persuade Pakistan to help? That’s it? That’s our strategy to get tough with Pakistan? The same thing we’re doing now, i.e., fighting Haqqani in Afghanistan and attempting to persuade Pakistan to help? So if the preceding strategy is failing, our forward going plan is to do more of the same?
Maybe that’s not the complete strategy. We’re also going to seek a negotiated settlement. Perhaps the threat of a negotiated settlement will persuade Pakistan to help. I had recommended unilaterally fighting Haqqani in Pakistan too, and if the Pakistani army had in any way impeded our progress or caused harm to our troops, turning the ground they stood on into a sea of glass. But what do I know?
Let’s all take a strategic pause and see how this plan works out, shall we?