Thursday, February 15, 2018

Our Friends the Pakistanis

Afghanistan has experienced some high profile terror attacks recently. Thanks Pakistan.

So do the attacks that killed 150 show Taliban strength? This seems about right:

Rather, [unnamed analysts] say, it was a violent Pakistani response – using its Islamist insurgent clients – to President Trump’s recent pressure on Pakistan to rein in militant sanctuaries, or else.

That's what the attacks seemed like to me:

It's as if Pakistan is trying to show how bad they could be if they choose.

Mind you, an unidentified Western diplomat denies this is the case. But it sure is walking and quacking like a duck. You certainly can't argue that this runs counter to past Pakistani action and capabilities.

If Pakistan (more precisely their military and intelligence arms) is sending a message, Pakistan shouldn't believe America has no response to Pakistan's deadly warning.

In an effort to get Pakistan to destroy the jihadi sanctuaries inside Pakistan that help sustain Afghanistan's jihadis, America should do what I suggested in 2008--start bribing and organizing tribes in Pakistan's tribal border areas to go after the jihadis.

I mentioned this last August (quoting the 2008 post) and still think it has the potential to leverage Pakistani efforts to truly work against the jihadis rather than support them.

Oh, and India might have a say from the opposite direction:

India's defense minister said Monday that gunmen belonging to the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed were behind a weekend attack on an army camp in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and warned Islamabad that it "would pay for this misadventure."

So does Pakistan really want to play this kind of game if everyone else plays by Pakistan's rules?