Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pakistan & Another Iraq War Disaster

Areas in red under Taliban control; purple under de facto control
When Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3, he said it was to deal with terrorists. But nearly two weeks later he not only has not dealt with the Taliban and Al Qaeda, he has allowed the Taliban to push closer to Islamabad as they take over one district after another in yet another tragic consequence of the Bush administration starving the War on Terror in South Asia to feed the war in Iraq.
Military blogger Bill Roggio, who has been on top of a story that the U.S. media shows little interest in and the White House wants to wish away, reports that the radical Islamic group, which was all but decimated after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, is taking territory in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province at a dizzying rate.

The mountainous region abuts the Afghan border and is believed to be where Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda cadre are hiding out with Taliban assistance.
After fighting the Pakistani military to a standstill in North Waziristan and forcibly taking over much of Swat, the Taliban have marched eastward into the district of Shangla and this week took control of the district office and police station in a key village without facing any resistance from the government.

Roggio says that Musharref has cut peace deals with the Taliban in North and South Waziristan, Bajaur, Mohmand, and Swat over the past year only to see the Taliban expand their influence. Much of the Northwest Frontier Province is either under open control of the Taliban or is heavily influenced by it.

Meanwhile, Musharraf has freed several high-level Taliban from prison.

The White House response to Musharraf's heavy-handedness has been muted and U.S. aid – in the form of untraceable cash payments – continues to flow to Pakistan. Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte is to meet with Musharraf tomorrow, and some U.S. officials are losing faith that he can survive in office.
No matter. The U.S. is winning in Iraq where, as President Bush incessantly notes, those danged terrorists who launched the 9/11 attacks came from, right?

So who gives a fig about Pakistan?

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