January 21, 2009

IT DOESN'T SEEM A TOUGH CHOICE:

Pakistan's shift alarms the US (Syed Saleem Shahzad, 1/22/09, Asia Times)

NATO has repeatedly urged Pakistan to do something about protecting the route, but it has been helpless because of a serious lack of human resources as many of its forces are engaged in combating the Taliban in Bajaur Agency and in the Swat Valley.

And significantly, following the Mumbai attack, Islamabad has moved troops from the border with Afghanistan to the border with India, where Indian troops are also mobilized. On Tuesday, India tested a cruise missile close to the Pakistan border. An Indian Defense Ministry spokesman said a Brahmos supersonic cruise missile had been successfully fired. The missiles have a range of up to several hundred kilometers.

It is Pakistan's focus on India that has Washington concerned, yet the heightened tensions between Islamabad and Delhi suit both countries. India has to hold general elections before May, and the ruling Congress-led government needs to be seen as doing something about the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan, meanwhile, has an excuse to bail out its highly demoralized troops on the western borders with Afghanistan by moving them to the Indian border.


Such government as Pakistan can help us out in the Tribal Areas or be added to the target list by taking on our allies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2009 10:14 AM
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