In the Arena


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In the midst of all the campaign hoo-hah, the New York Times is doing some really good reporting about the Pakistani military and intelligence services, and their covert ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It seems to me that our President is asking the right question here:

Pakistan’s defense minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, told a Pakistani television network on Wednesday that Mr. Bush asked senior Pakistani officials this week, “ ‘Who is in control of ISI?’ ” and asked about leaked information that tipped militants to surveillance efforts by Western intelligence services.

I just wonder why it took him six years to get around to asking it. Once again, this is the real problem we should have been focusing on all along. It should be front and center for the next Administration–and it will require a careful mix of diplomacy and extremely targeted and judicious military action in the border areas. I don’t know nearly enough about Pakistan, but I plan to get up to speed over the coming months. In the meantime, it’s good that the Times remains on top of this story.