Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pakistan Continues to Be Problematic

Pakistan is worried about America's outreach to India. If Pakistan is worried we'll find a better regional ally, you'd think they'd work harder not to be the worse choice.

Pakistan gets hit with the clue bat:

As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads to Pakistan on Tuesday to pressure Islamabad to act over militants targeting Afghanistan from its soil, anxious Pakistanis may be equally interested in dissuading Washington's deepening ties with India.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan, a staunch U.S. Cold War ally and key player in the U.S.-backed invasion of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, has watched warily as Washington has in recent years pivoted towards its arch-foe.

Pakistan has been our ally for a long time. In part because India was friendly with the USSR.

But Pakistan has always been a problem child of an ally, necessary for fighting in Afghanistan yet in many ways acts like a frenemy.

Yes, I'd rather have nuclear-armed Pakistan as a highly imperfect ally than as an enemy. If North Korea acted like Pakistan we'd call our North Korea policy a success.

But Pakistan gets that kind of courtesy only as long as we lack an alternative.

India can't take the place of Pakistan when it comes to landlocked Afghanistan. But if we ever cut the Gordian Knot of mullah-run Iran, a land line of supply to Afghanistan will be opened (we know it would work) and then we can review our Pakistan options with a little more freedom of action.