Sunday, February 22, 2009

Indivisible Insurgencies

Joe Klein, after reading this article by Fred Kaplan, posts this on Swampland:
In fact, I haven't heard a coherent strategy yet from anyone about Pakistan. (And from what I hear, the accumulated U.S. diplomatic, military and intelligence knowledge of that benighted, and ridiculously complicated, country is surprisingly minimal.) As Richard Holbrooke said last night on Lehrer, there is a notable level of disagreement among U.S. experts about the intent of the Pakistani Army and ISI (inter-services intelligence agency).

Last summer, I first reported that the U.S. intelligence community now considered Pakistan the centrol [sic] front in the war on terror. Well, we're not talking about wars on terror any more, but the situation in Pakistan is, without question, the most sever [sic] foreign policy problem that we're facing right now. Kaplan's right: it needs to take precedence over Afghanistan.
But Klein and Kaplan are wrong – Pakistan should not take precedence over Afghanistan. Neither should Afghanistan take precedence over Pakistan, though, at least in so far as the US is concerned with the Pashtun tribal belt that straddles the two countries and is fomenting unrest in each. The challenge posed by the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan cannot be addressed without addressing it corollary in Pakistan at least not without sealing the border between the two countries – a task that has proved impossible thus far and, in its impossibility, has lead or contributed to the destabilization of Pakistan.

Without sealing the border, increasing pressure on Taliban and Pashtun anti-government forces in Afghanistan while allowing them safe haven in Pakistan affords those forces strategic depth. Likewise, attacking those forces in Pakistan without maintaining pressure in Afghanistan allows them an avenue of escape. Thus, while there are anti-government forces in Pakistan who have focused their attacks on Pakistan and may separable, both the restiveness and its underlying causes, in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, must be addressed for NATO to achieve any discernible success in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Joshua Wolf said...

Come on Mr. Farley. I think it's time for a new blog post. So much is going on. Plz share your thoughts.