Tuesday, July 31, 2007

 

A War David Ignatius Can Support.

David Ignatius has a column today in which he lucidly outlines exactly what should be done to counteract Al Qaeda ops in Pakistan.

Actually, I have no idea what David Ignatius is saying…which is alright because I doubt anyone else reading him will gleam anything useful from this piece: Sept. 10 in Waziristan

After noting the National Intelligence Estimate’s report on Al Qaeda’s taking up refuge in the Waziristan portion of Pakistan, he settles on a best alternative approach to nullifying that threat:

“[Former CIA officer Henry] Crumpton argues that the United States must take preventive action but that it should do so carefully, through proxies wherever possible. The right model for a Waziristan campaign is the CIA-led operation in Afghanistan, not the U.S. military invasion of Iraq.”

Of the utmost importance is “It would be better to conduct such operations jointly with Pakistan, but if the government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf can't or won't cooperate, the United States should be prepared to go it alone, Crumpton argues.”

Well that certainly narrows it down. Later, Mr. Ignatius explains why such an approach is important:

“Intervening in another Muslim country is risky, to put it mildly. That's why a successful counterinsurgency program would need Pakistani support…”

I love his conclusion:

“The United States can begin to take action now against al-Qaeda's new haven. Or we can wait, and hope that we don't get hit again. The biggest danger in waiting is that if retaliation proves necessary later, it could be ill-planned and heavy-handed -- precisely what got us in trouble in Iraq.”

A few items:

1) Let’s remember that we are still fighting (and dying) in Afghanistan. The Left long ago made the political calculation that criticizing our entry there would not gain much partisan advantage and so have concentrated their ire on Iraq. The Taliban was toppled but no doubt much of what’s constituted in Waziristan is from Afghanistan.

2) The David Ignatius-approved plan has us going into Pakistan with or without Pakistani help. While I don’t necessarily disagree with him on this, how does going in alone not come across as heavy-handed? Since he has seemingly bought into the we-create-terrorists school of thought, he should explain how this potential unilateral action would not also be a creationist event.

3) Since he has to know that the UN would never, EVER!! approve such a move, would he have us even bother to seek such approval? And if not, how does this ever get out of a Democratic Congress?

In a piece outlining a suggested military approach to a growing Al Qaeda presence in Pakistan, he litters his column with snide asides about our efforts in Iraq. I’ll suggest those efforts are the reason he can now concentrate his considerable military prowess on Waziristan instead of lamenting an entrenched, well-organized Al Qaeda’s presence throughout the Mideast.

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