Friday, May 01, 2009

Fake Threat, Real Threat

It seems like Pakistan is finally getting it ("it" being my — America's, the Western World's — way of thinking). From the low point of moving troops towards the India border after the Mumbai attacks and a peace deal with the Taliban earlier in the year, Pakistan has come a long way and is now apparently taking the fight to the Taliban. Apparently they're even making some gains.
The US criticized the peace deal from the beginning, but diplomacy consists of getting other countries to do what you want — it's not, as Vercingetorix rightly points out, just asking for it. But it's not just criticizing them, either. Finally, the Pakistani government seems to be doing something we want — cooperating in the fight against the Taliban. There's still the sensitivity of having American soldiers on their soil, but the Obama folks and the Islamic Republic folks seem to be finessing that by training counterinsurgency troops in an undisclosed third country.

There's still a long way to go, and the Pakistani government defines dysfunctional, so who knows how long they'll keep this up? Maybe it's the immediacy of the Taliban threat. Maybe it's the diplomatic genius of the new administration. Maybe it's the realization that although posturing against India wins you some domestic political support, India poses no real threat. Who knows? But it's good to have — at least for the time being — Pakistan fighting a second front against the Taliban instead of just hindering our fight on the first front.

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