In the Arena

Our Pakistani Allies

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Jonesboro, Arkansas

I’ve got to take a break from road trip posting–there’ll be more tomorrow morning–to say: Finally! And Hoorah. Finally, the U.S. is acknowledging what some of us have been reporting for years: the Haqqani Taliban network is an asset of the Pakistani military. This means we’ve been played for suckers for the past decade. It also means that we’ve been paying to have our own troops killed–the money flows from us to the Pakistani military, to the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) to the Taliban. That is somewhere way beyond outrageous. I suppose that the Haqqani attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul last week was the final straw, but why so many straws?

Both the Bush and Obama Administrations have to answer for this obscenity. What can either of the two Presidents say to the families of those who have been killed by the Haqqani network? It is important that Pakistan not become a terrorist state, armed with 100 nuclear weapons–but it’s already a rogue state and perhaps a failed one. This should mean that the Pakistanis can no longer have it both ways: if they fund our enemies, they are not our friends. It will be an enduring outrage of American history that the President who said “our enemies are those who fund terrorism and harbor terrorists” shoveled $9 billion in military aid to a country that flagrantly does both. Obama’s acquiescence in this feckless Bush policy is unspeakably naive and disgraceful.