Get tough strategy with Pakistan?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 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?

  • carl

    Mr. Smith, you just don’t understand. This is the most high powered group that it is possible for Washington to send. The Pak Army/ISI cannot help but be impressed into breathless fright and immediate compliance by our seriousness this time.

    At least that is what the members of the delegation are all telling themselves. They will all be sincerely surprised when it doesn’t work. Then they will wonder, again sincerely, what else can they do, since if this didn’t work, what could?

    I used to admire GEN Pertraeus so much. But now I don’t know. He may be turning into Mullen the Feckless II.

  • Charles Thornton

    You guys remind me of the old “kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out” crowd from Vietnam days. I have no doubt Petraeus has more irons in the fire than he’s announced to the LA Times.

  • Warbucks

    If you really want to scare them, pull a random contingency of New York cab drivers off the streets that have been caught in two-hour traffic jams without fares in their rear seats.

  • dad29

    I tend to agree with ChThornton; it’s possible that Petraeus did not tell the LATimes everything, doncha’ think?

  • carl

    Nope. I don’t think. I think that he and the rest are acting just like all the rest have been acting for the past 10 years. I no longer trust the “Trust me. I’ve got a top top secret clearance and I know what I’m doing” crowd. They have proved by their actions over the last decade they don’t have a clue.

  • Šťoural

    New push against the Haqqani network.Really?Not at all.Maybe it is smokescreen:Paktika,Soldier from TF Blackhawk are participating in operation Blackstorm ,clearing the COP Waza Khwa of US military equipment PRIOR TO AFGHAN FORCE TAKING OVER(i.e. abandon)

  • Warbucks

    Carl, I agree with you.

    However, my wild unsubstantiated guess is Gen. Petraeus’s greatness is not yet publicly known. His “moment of choice” professionally I think occurred during the Colorado and East Coast strange “P-Pulse” Richter Scale earthquakes that leave geologists around the globe scratching their heads from the graph readings. Earth Quake Richter Scale Patterns:

    I think this publicly quiet leader, is turning out to be “The” white hat that suffers knowing truth and opts to quietly serve the forces of good fearlessly and humbly. I could be wrong, but P-Pulse waves are un-ignorable evidence of a lot of power released in a massive near instant slam of energy natural quakes just do not make. Forces of good are defined as freedom, liberty, and democracy in my simple book …. Others might call it the forces of the Light.   

  • Gary

    An interesting documentary for me was “There’s No End in Sight”. Although all media have their particular slant, this documentary brought our particular insights to our ineptitude in Iraq time and time again. That is to say, I am in Carl’s camp with this one. Trust is earned and lost. Presently our high officials have lost this trust.

  • Herschel Smith

    Just to be clear, I’m not disparaging General Petraeus. Men in positions such as his don’t make policy. They carry it out. Policy is being made by Obama and his band of sophomores in the White House. Petraeus can only take things as far as the W.H. is willing to go. In this case it looks like this was just a propaganda campaign by the W.H. There is nothing of substance behind it.

  • TS Alfabet

    I would add to Carl and Herschel’s comments that the proof that the Super Cabable Realpolitik Elites With Uber Political Power (aka SCREW UPs) cannot be trusted and do not say anything in private beyond what we know publicly is that there is no such thing as secret anything when it comes to the U.S. government. As Wikileaks, the NYT, The WaPo and LA Times have all demonstrated, there is always an abundance of people with access to “top secrets” who are willing to blab to the media in exchange for anonymity and whatever smug feelings of superiority they get from betraying secrets.

    So, for instance, when the U.S. needed to get tough with Pakistan in 2001 in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. knew exactly what to say to the Pakis in order to secure their, ahem, “cooperation.” Yes, there were goodies thrown in and charm pops blah blah, but the bottom line, “secret” message to Musharraf et al was, “You either work with us on rooting out Al Qaeda or we are going to turn your country into a parking lot. Your choice.” Not surprisingly, the Pakis chose to cooperate, albeit with as much fudging, double-crossing and reluctance as they thought they could get away with.

    And how do we know that? Because these “secret” conversations were leaked to the press and, eventually I think, by Musharraf himself after he lost power and went on his rock-star media tour. It is a permanent feature of American power that there are no, real secrets. Only suppressed facts. I.e., if the secrets hurt conservatives or help liberals, you can be sure that the leaks will get front page news and be on every Left Wing media channel. If the secrets hurt liberals or embarrass a Democrat, you can be sure that the Leftist Media will ignore, suppress, excuse, counterattack in whatever way possible.

    Now, ten years later, what is that Paki attitude? Do you think they are even a little bit scared of any threats coming from the U.S.? The Pakis are shelling U.S. troops according to the recent NYT article that is posted here at TCJ recently. The Pakis, according to our own CIA and Admiral Mullen are openly using the Haqqanis to attack the U.S. in A-stan.

    No, the SCREW UPs don’t have anything up their sleeve. If they did, we would see real results. We would see a mysterious drop in cross-border attacks from Pakistan. We would see, with Iran, a decreasing belligerence.

    No indeed. What you see is what you get. And we, the U.S. of A, are getting the finger from every tin pot dictator and 3d world thug out there. Obama and his circus show have made us a laughingstock the world over. Anyone who gets elected (short of Ron Paul) would be better than Obama.

  • Pingback: The Captain's Journal » Concerning Taliban Sanctuary in Pakistan()

  • James

    I dont know why we are spending so much on guns. “1,800 U.S. soldiers” this means a lot to me. My cousin is in Army right now and I feel bad for him. I am looking forward to the day he comes back!

You are currently reading "Get tough strategy with Pakistan?", entry #7779 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Haqqani Network,Pakistan and was published October 20th, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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