A new American policy toward Pakistan will be needed if the Taliban and Al Qaeda are to be defeated in Aghanistan. Pakistan is playing both sides against the middle in this conflict–seemingly aiding the United States by half hearted fighting of the Taliban and Al Qaeda who find safe haven in the rugged Pakistani tribal areas next to Afghanistan. Pakistan’s strategy is to hedge its bet that once the Americans leave Afghanistan they will retain a friendly regime in Afghanistan to the West, to offset Pakistan’s perceived greatest threat of India to the East.
The bottom line is that unless the United States toughens its position with Pakistan, and takes over and controls the war on Pakistan’s turf, it will be unable to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces who are domiciled in the wild and rugged Pakistani tribal areas next to Afghanistan.
This strategy is proposed:
1. Immediately curtail American dependence on the Pakistani military to root out the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Instead use NATO forces and CIA operatives to clean out enemy forces in these areas. This will cause the Pakistanis to boil over in anger,but is necessary if there is any chance to defeat the enemy.
2.-Cease and desist paying approximately 2 billion dollars in military and humanitarian aid to Pakistan each year.
3. Surround, secure and remove the Pakistani nuclear arsenal with American forces.
4. Back the government of India in its on going opposition to the Pakistani government.
5. Prepare for probable Pakistani unrest and increased Islamization in Pakistan due to increased American military action in the Pakistani tribal areas and in retrieving Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
6. Remember that the reason we are in Afghanistan is to prevent the return of Al Qaeda and to eliminate the Taliban protective shield it provided to the terrorists.
These actions ,while threatening to overtly expand the theater of war to encompass Pakistan, are the only realistic ones that will lead to a possible achievement of American objectives in Afghanistan. Otherwise, Afghanistan is a dead end street.