Thursday, March 15, 2018

Show Them the Money

If America needs a regional approach to Afghanistan that includes the control of the Pakistani side of the border to prevent it from being a sanctuary for Afghan jihadis, what do we do if Pakistan continues to oppose America on this?

Well, start spreading the money around the tribal territories that already resist Pakistani control:

The United States on Thursday said it was offering a $5-million reward for information on Mullah Fazlullah, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban militant group that has waged a decade-long insurgency in the South Asian nation.

The offer came amid worsening U.S.-Pakistan relations, and coincided with a visit to Washington by Pakistan’s foreign secretary for talks expected to focus on boosting counter-terrorism cooperation and the U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan.

If Pakistan won't cooperate, America needs to demonstrate that we have an alternative:

In light of the idea of options in the broader South Asia region, I will revive my [2008] suggestion that our efforts to win should include a major effort to create friendly forces on the ground inside Pakistan the way we have done inside Syria[.]

And if the money is the carrot, the stick to encourage Pakistani tribal leaders to work with us comes from above (from the first link):

On Wednesday, a suspected U.S. drone strike on a training camp in a remote part of Afghanistan killed more than 20 Pakistani Taliban militants preparing to launch suicide attacks in Pakistan.

This will take time. Pakistan continues to be a problem.

Although progress could be faster if Pakistan sees jihadis as more of a threat to their strategic depth versus India and seriously turns against the Afghan jihadis who keep fighting.