The successful bin Laden raid, naturally, constituted a huge embarrassment for Pakistan in the world’s eyes. In the past, whenever they were accused of harboring him, Pakistani officials would deny bin Laden was even in their country and would smarmily demand evidence from the accusers. Simultaneously, Pakistan was receiving billions of dollars in aid from its “ally” America to fight against al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists.
Using the age-old strategy that attack is better than defense, the Pakistanis’ coldness towards the American delegation was a means of showing their anger and displeasure for US Navy Seals having violated Pakistan’s sovereignty. But this is tantamount to blaming the victim.
The Wikileaks documents exposed that Pakistan’s immense degree of corruption extended far beyond its protection of bin Laden. The ISI had smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security to help them avoid capture. They had also sent an al-Qaeda unit into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban. This also does not take into account the number of victims, both inside and outside of Pakistan, of terrorist plots conceived on Pakistani soil by these very same protected terrorists.
But don’t expect for a minute the Pakistanis will ever honestly investigate the extent of its security apparatus members’ cooperation with al Qaeda or with other hard-line Islamic terrorist organizations. However, Pakistani officials did admit during the Clinton visit that bin Laden did have a support network while living in Pakistan (as if this wasn’t discernable) and that this would be investigated. But again, if the investigation’s findings are ever announced, just expect more of the same deceitfulness and lies.
Unfortunately, the upcoming offensive will most likely also fall victim to the same double-dealing. At worst, it will resemble the lackadaisical offensives former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf used to launch against Pakistan-based terrorist organizations to justify the billions of American dollars he was receiving. It will be just for show with hardly any casualties incurred and heavy contact avoided.
At best, the Pakistani army will target only Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda assets, leaving the Haqqani network largely untouched. For the Pakistani security establishment, there are good Islamist killers and bad Islamist killers. The bad ones, like the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda, stage horrific attacks inside of Pakistan and therefore deserve destruction. But the good ones, like the Haqqani network, only attack targets inside of Afghanistan, like American troops and their NATO and Afghan allies, and therefore should be left alone or even utilized for foreign policy advantages. But it is this Haqqani network, with its headquarters in North Waziristan, that NATO wants taken out in the offensive, since it represents the alliance’s deadliest enemy in Afghanistan.
Up until now, Pakistan said it was unable to undertake any military operations against North Waziristan, because the army is overstretched, and it still has to consolidate the gains made in previous offensives against Islamic extremists. This will probably provide the excuse for the offensive to develop into a slow, or “meticulous”, one that will demand more American patience and money. This scenario fits in with the Pakistani army’s depraved and predatory attitude towards making money. Like the other institutions in Pakistan, it is very corrupt and is first and foremost an independent, billion-dollar business conglomerate to the detriment its fighting abilities. It is also probably why Pakistan has lost three wars against India.
But after the bin Laden raid, America should no longer play this game with Pakistan. It should set a timetable for what it wants done in North Waziristan, and if the US military is not satisfied with progress, it should go in and do the job itself. But before that, Congress should move to eliminate all money payments to our “ally.” Unfortunately, this seems to be the only kind of language the Pakistanis understand and the only one that can produce results.
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