“U.S. Threatens to Withhold Pakistan [Military] Aid,” states a headline in a recent WSJ article. What is the world coming to? They have been our allies in the Afghanistan region since well before the 911 terrorist attacks against us in 2001. Pakistan was our supply route to fight the Russians by proxy supporting Mujahedeen terrorist extremists to help kick the Russians out of Afghanistan. The Russians had invaded there in 1979, leading President Jimmy Carter to call a boycott of the Olympics to be held in Russia. That was how outraged we were that Russia would invade a country that bordered them and was in chaos. That chaos then engaged the Russian occupiers for almost a decade, depleting their national treasury, humiliating their army, and contributing to the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Now we have repeated their tragic mistake, trusting in our military might to conquer Afgahnistan, this third world nation that nurtured Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and many terrorist factions [that we armed in our proxy war with Russia]. Pakistan, the neighbor country we’ve used as a forward base & supply line for our army’s invasion of Afghanistan post 911, is no longer cooperating. What will become of our current attempts to destroy these Taliban and other militant groups we once supported? It would certainly compromise our army, Special Forces, and drones operations.
Drone activity in 2010
Pakistan was never enthusiastic, is friendly also to Taliban on its side of the border, and its courts are now pressing charges against U.S. CIA officials that have run the drones program secretly from their territory. “American drone strikes are extremely unpopular in Pakistan, where they are viewed as a breach of the country’s sovereignty…” They are also viewed by their common people as shameful, cowardly ways to fight by remote control.
Both Pakistan and Afghanistan are predominantly Muslim nations. They are much closer to each other than to the United States. After more than a decade of our Afghanistan invasion and occupation, and continued “pinpoint strikes” against insurgents, there is no end to the chaos. The refugees and displaced number in the millions, billions of U.S. military dollars are spent, civilian casualties are at an all-time high, poppy-heroin production is at record levels, and the two countries at times even attack each other.
Another member of our U.S. arsenal
Our military aid to Pakistan will most likely continue, if they fight the enemies we direct them to [so intimates the WSJ article]. Recent history teaches that this only promises the bitter fruit of persistent war. Better to invest in peacemaking, as in the attempts of President Eisenhower’s’ road and irrigation projects in Afghanistan, and Central Asia Institute’s school building in Pakistan. You get what you pay for: terrible in war, never easy but positive in peace.
A better use of poppies--Ande's, on our garden path
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