Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hot pursuit into Pakistan?

The other day in a comment Mr./Ms. MacZed asked the following question:

If you go to the NEFA website there are recent interviews with the leader of one Agency's Jihadis...he states that he can make one call and 120,000 armed men will come running to his banner. How many agencies are there in the NWFP? Yet it is a No-Go zone for our military. Bush said at the beginning of the War on Terror that any who harbor Terrorists will be considered an enemy of freedom and be treated as a terrorist. What happened to that strong approach?

I had been wondering the same thing, but alas, I had no good answer, either. So I perked up when I ran across this at Investors Business Daily. Mr./Ms. MacZed? This blurb's for you.

Hot Pursuit into Pakistan?

It appears hawks within the Pentagon and CIA have won a long-running policy battle with risk-averse officials in the administration and diplomats at the State Department. The result is a more aggressive, go-it-alone policy in response to Pakistan's failure to disrupt terrorist training camps and cross-border attacks against our troops and the Afghan government.

Politics and diplomacy had not produced the desired results, and they've had ample opportunity to work. For nearly seven years now — as we've coaxed, cajoled and even bribed our "ally" with billions in aid — Osama bin Laden and his henchmen have remained hidden inside Pakistan's tribal areas. Patience with Islamabad has run out. It's time for unilateral military action.

The U.S. military confirms it is sending extra air power to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border by moving the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. The battle group ostensibly will provide air support for special forces who reportedly have been given the green light — after tumultuous debate within the White House — to conduct raids deep inside Pakistan's tribal belt to eradicate al-Qaida and Taliban bases.

What apparently got the State Department off the dime? Let's review.

• A 2006 peace deal brokered by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that has led to a 40% increase in the number of cross-border attacks from Pakistan's tribal belt, where insurgents now operate with impunity.

• U.S. intelligence reports showing al-Qaida's leadership has carved out a secure base inside the tribal area, along with a band of camps for training a new cadre of Western-looking terrorists to attack the U.S.

• Reports that the flow of foreign fighters and funding into the Pakistani border region from the Middle East has soared as jihadists relocate from Iraq.

• U.S. and Afghan intelligence showing evidence the Pakistani military is arming, training and sharing logistical data with Taliban insurgents to help them target U.S. and Afghan troops.

• A border incident last month in which Pakistani soldiers fired on U.S. forces.

• Evidence the Pakistani government may be behind a campaign to destabilize the U.S.-backed Afghan government, including assassination attempts on Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

• The bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, which killed 41 including Indian officials. Karzai has blamed Pakistan's military intelligence agency.

I say let's go get 'em.