Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pakistan: Their peace = our problem?

I posted about this a while back when Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's piece about South Waziristan was published in The Weekly Standard. He wrote extensively about the Warizistan Accords and what they meant to our efforts in Afghanistan. Pakistan's surrender of that territory to al-Qaeda was indeed bad news for our forces.

Now in a new story from CBN News, "Bajaur: When 'Peace' Yields War," we find that the Waziristan Accords have indeed cost us mightily:
...since that deal, al-Qaeda and the Taliban have increased their attacks into Afghanistan by some 300 percent. ...
And, the saga of Musharraf's peace-making in Pakistan continues with the surrender of Bajaur to a Taliban leader:

... Sources told CBN News this accord is similar to the Waziristan treaty, in which Pakistan turned control of that region over to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

"Bajaur is right by an area where there's been a lot of insurgent activity in Afghanistan. So there's obviously a concern that with this new accord, there will be much more of an increase in attacks against Coalition forces," said CBN News consultant Daveed Gartenstein-Ross.

High-level intelligence sources have told CBN News that the Pakistani government made the deal with Faqir Mohamed, a powerful Taliban leader in Bajaur.

Mohamed's group sent more than 10,000 troops to fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Pilots bombed his home in Bajaur last year to target a top al-Qaeda leader.

Basically, with these accords, he becomes the king of Bajaur. He's a man who is incredibly influential, incredibly powerful there, and basically is the perfect confluence of factors to help al-Qaeda," said Gartenstein-Ross. ...

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf agreed to the Bajaur accord despite increasing White House pressure to crack down on jihadists in the tribal regions.

As Musharraf attempts to make peace within his own country, it would seem that he is setting up NATO and Coalition Forces for more trouble in Afghanistan if the Waziristan Accords are any indicator. This seems like a bit of a double-edged sword for Pakistan, really. Find peace within their borders only to have war waged against Afghanistan from within their borders? Sticky situation, without a doubt.

Musharraf is either (a) helping us by allowing the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces to settle into one central location where they can be easily irradicated; or, (b) hurting us by allowing the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces to settle into one central location to rebuild their strength and fight again for Afghanistan. Option "a" is the only option that helps the US, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Let's hope Musharraf knows which side he's on... and it's our side!


Anonymous said...

CBN news. The world according to Pat Robertson.

Even less reliable than the world according to the people who sell lighted tweezers and Nutrisystem.

Kadnine said...

Musharraf can only be counted on to do what's in his own interests, unfortunately.

The real "axis of evil" isn't just NoK, Iran, and Syia, but Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Egypt as well.

Pak, NoKo, have the bomb, Saudis have oil, and Egypt has a "balance of power" arms agreement with the US, all of which, hinder our efforts to keep their selfish rulers in check. A shame, but there it is. Hell, even France is more nationalistic!

The only good news is that extremely self-interested rulers can still be influenced. I suspect Colin Powell after 9/11 phoned up Musharraf and convinced him that Masharraf, not Pakistan would be the next JDAM casualty if he interferred with OEF in Afghanistan.

Perhaps another call is warranted now.


Anon -

The Christian Broadcasting Network is... Christian!?

Knock me over with a feather, Anon. My world has been shattered by your dazzling intellect. Why, next you'll tell the NYT is secular and frankly my fragile mind can't handle that kind of knowledge, let alone take it into account when reading their reportage.

I guess it's easier to stick one's fingers in one's ears and shout, "Pat Robertson, Pat Robertson, Pat Robertson! Less reliable that NutriSysyem!" than to parse sources.

Dawn said...

Anon, it's people like you who judge content based solely on the banner across the top that are partly responsible for the dumbing down of this country. Had you taken the time to look into the qualifications of the author of that piece, you would have found him MOST CREDIBLE on this particular subject.

Here, let me save your lame, lazy arse the trouble:

"Prior to joining CBN, he [Erick Stakelbeck] worked as a senior writer and analyst at the Investigative Project, a leading counterterrorism think tank in Washington, D.C. His articles on Islamic extremism, global terrorism and U.S. foreign policy have appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, New York Post, New York Sun, Jerusalem Post, and National Review Online, among other publications."

I have followed the consultant referenced in the article (Daveed Gartenstein-Ross) for a number of years as he wrote extensively on the subject for a variety of media outlets. He previously worked for an Islamic charity that was a part of the radical network supporting al-Qaeda; he's written a book about his experience there ("My Year Inside Radical Islam"); and is now a full-time terrorism consultant.

Both gentlemen are emminently qualified to write about the topic with authority. If you choose to dismiss their knowledge, experience, and insight because they are Christians, that's your bigotted choice to make.

I, as a non-Christian, choose my sources based on their expertise, not their religions. You might want to take your act to a Liberal blog where people are ridiculed for their religious choices. Bigots are not really very welcome here at ConservaChick, Anon.

Dawn said...

Kad, great point. It seems though like he might just be buying time from the Taliban at this point. Sure hope that phone call is made soon! ;o)

Kadnine said...

Yeah, I sympathize with Musharraf and his difficulties... to a point. That point is where Musharraf stopped barring American troops from Pak territory for reasons of Pak soverignty, and started barring US troops in order to appease Taliban strongmen.

Even though it appears he's not changed a thing, things have changed. Again, the only silver lining I can see in this less-than-ideal situtaion is that Musharraf is playing to rational self-interest. As long as he remains predictable, he remains the best hope for future of Pakistan, the US and the larger region.

(I can't believe I just wrote that, but it's nevertheless true.)


Ever watch the Stackelbeck on Terror vids at Hot Air? It's a weekly feature that covers ground a shade different than the other regular contributors. I can see why they brought him onboard. Sharp guy.