In the Arena


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Time to reverse the shorthand, I think. Pakistan is seeming more and more a mess. Two reports today. This one, in the New York Times, is particularly scary: the Taliban and assorted Punjabi militants are making common cause, which presents a real threat to the Pakistani heartland. Also, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Taliban are consolidating their hold on Swat, turning it into a major base of operations.

Once again, there is no kinetic, bang-bang answer to this problem for the US and the rest of the world. It is up to the Pakistanis, especially the military, to decide how and, I suppose, whether to confront this threat. The most immediate¬† potential consequence has more to do with India than with Afghanistan: the more Pakistan becomes a safe haven for jihadis, the more likely it is that India will be attacked again–and the more likely that India will be forced to respond militarily. Very scary, all around.