Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wisdom from the Woods IV

Wisdom from the Woods is an occasional column that outlines a complex issue.

Today's view of the ledge was actually taken at dawn on the day before the vernal equinox. Readers should be aware that they can click any picture in the column and you'll get incredible resolution. You can get a good look at the Moon in the morning.

During my walk in the woods today, I began thinking about the extremely problematic situation of dealing with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Foreign policy issues today are so complex, it's like reaching into a burlap sack full of rattlesnakes; you know you have to come out with something, but you also know you'll most likely get bitten. Barack Obama is faced with the same problems as George Bush, but the traction lost during the Bush years in the search for Osama bin Laden is unforgivable. The great distraction of Iraq was an extreme case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The most notorious person on the planet was not in Iraq or even close to Iraq. Our Nation's excursion to Iraq was the largest foreign policy blunder in the history of this country. This is not just me saying this; people throughout government and the military that are a lot smarter than I am feel the same way.

Obama is now faced with the possibility of extended war along the Afghanistan border with Pakistan. He needs to be very concerned of involving us in another prolonged conflict with no end in sight. Hopefully, he can find the balance, capture bin Laden and get the hell out of there before he gets bitten.

It seems to me that the cooperation of Pakistan is the real key to success here. Of late, Obama is getting some increased cooperation from leaders in both countries; however, Pakistan still seems to be reluctant to go all out to capture the principals in the al Qaeda network. What other tools might Obama have if Pakistan doesn't pass the cooperation test?

I certainly hope that this never happens because I am talking about 2 nuclear powers here; but, I do feel that the United States could threaten to increase military support of India by providing selected advanced technologies. Pakistan, being a mortal enemy of India could not tolerate this. The trade off here would be to apply the pressure on Pakistan to deliver Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other top al Qaeda operatives to the United States. Once the al Qaeda network is dismantled, there could be great rewards for Pakistan and an assurance of equality in military technology between the 2 nations.

I know; its the old carrot and the stick, and we're all tired of the United States using the stick. None the less; Pakistan needs to be able to control this extremist movement within it's borders. Any step the U.S. could take to accelerate that cooperation could lessen the time we have to be present in the region. We all know that Pakistan needs to take giant steps to eliminate the extremist within it's borders or it won't be long before these wackos have their fingers on a nuclear button.


1 comment:

  1. We can't leave the region until bin Laden is captured. I hope that happens soon.