We gave over Three Billion Dollars in United States taxpayer money to Pakistan in Fiscal Year 2009. In today’s WSJ there’s an article highlighting some controversy about CIA efforts to disrupt the Haqqani network in Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal areas through the use of drone aircraft.
Many in the Pakistani intelligence and political establishment are reaping huge dividends from our financial investments into the OEF theater. Of course, Pakistan has a vested financial interest in maintaining conflict in the tribal areas – there’s alot of money to be made, with minimal risk to their military. The Bush Administration failed to effectively counter these conflicting interests and the Obama Administration, specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has failed just as bad in failing to deal with this dilemma. Every dollar given to Pakistan needs to be directly tied to improving security operations in the tribal areas. The State Department’s failure in addressing Pakistani complacence in the tribal areas is an undying thorn in Coalition security efforts in Afghanistan.
In the meantime, any effort the United States can pursue to disrupt higher-level leadership and organizational structures of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and any tribe directly involved in hostile Anti-Coalition efforts should be pursued, regardless of the location of such activity. We need to be fully engaged in this fight with all current and past security assets. Every living US operative who tromped through Peshawar in the 80s needs to be dug up and engaged in this fight. Disrupting such organizations in Pakistan and elsewhere needs to be of the highest security priorities.
Of course, drone attacks pose a risk to civilians. Any armed conflict around the world has civilian risks. These risks are well worth taking. Al Qaeda took such risks when they attacked the United States on September 11th, nine years ago – (minus the Pentagon attack) they attacked nothing but civilians!
In spite of the incompetence of the current Administration to acknowledge it – we’re engaged in a global war against Islamic terrorism. It’s a war we’re probably not going to win in our lifetimes. Any western, freedom loving Nation needs to keep this at the forefront of their international security and diplomatic interests. We have a universal obligation to keep the extremists who prosecute this war against the West off-balance. Allowing them any opportunity to regroup, reorganize, refocus and retrain will in the end have devastating results on Western soils.
Open any Western history book – Appeasing radical extremists doesn’t work in favor of the freedom-loving West. There is no better place then to lock onto these terrorist organizations than by keeping their hands busy in Afghanistan, while kicking them in the pants in Pakistan. It’s better there than in Paris, Madrid, London, New York City or even Backwoods Arkansas for that matter.