Pakistan remains an enemy country

Washington Post:
The United States resumed drone missile strikes against Pakistan-based militants Sunday for the first time since the nation’s parliament demanded an end to such attacks as one of several conditions for fully normalizing relations with the United States. 
The strikes, which have for years infuriated the Pakistani public, killed four al-Qaeda-linked fighters in a girls’ school they had taken over in the North Warizistan tribal agency, security officials there said. 
Pakistan’s foreign office condemned the attacks. 
Even though few of Pakistan’s leaders seriously expected the United States to stop its eight-year-long drone war against extremists, the resumption of the strikes may complicate efforts to repair perpetually strained relations between Washington and Islamabad at a particularly sensitive time. 
Last week, Pakistan told U.S. negotiators after two days of talks in Islamabad that it would not reopen its territory to Afghanistan-bound NATO supply convoys unless the United States unconditionally apologizedfor November air attacks that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border. Although the U.S. has expressed regret for the killings, which it called accidental, the Pentagon says both sides share blame. 
Washington has made clear that an apology will not be forthcoming, but officials on both sides say they are committed to ongoing talks. A Pentagon-led team of 10 negotiators, including State Department and White House officials, remain in Islamabad with the main focus on getting the NATO supply lines open. 
“We haven't found a solution yet, but everybody wants to find one,” said one U.S. official, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the talks. 
The routes into land-locked Afghanistan not only support the war against the Taliban, but also, more importantly, will provide an exit for the massive amount of materiel that must be hauled out when the U.S. combat presence ends in 2014
Pakistan’s parliament unanimously laid down foreign policy guidelines for future dealings with the United States on April 4, then passed them to the government of President Asif Ali Zardari for enforcement. The “terms of engagement” called for an immediate end to the CIA drone strikes, which the Parliament had twice demanded in recent years, to no effect.
The military must have contingency plans for a fighting withdrawal through Pakistan.  They are probably going to need them.  The Pakistan government has a real problem with the Pakistan people who are on the side of the Islamic religious bigots.  The fight over the drone strikes is a fight for the enemy sanctuaries that many in Pakistan want to sustain.  If we are forced into a fighting withdrawal, I would be prepared to destroy the sanctuaries with heavy bombing that would far exceed the pin prick drone strikes.  I think Pakistan needs to understand just how devastating such a withdrawal would be for Pakistan regardless of what the Islamic religious bigots might want.

The demand for the apology is a gesture for the civilian government to save face with the bigots.  I am surprised Obama has not given one since he has been generous with apologies in circumstances where one was not called for.  But to do so now would cause him political troubles of his own.


Popular posts from this blog

Should Republicans go ahead and add Supreme Court Justices to head off Democrats

US mass shooting compared to other countries

Comanches were brutal killers and not the gentle folks Hollywood tries to portray