September 22, 2005

WHERE THE WAR ENDS:

The Danger Next Door (SETH G. JONES, 9/23/05, NY Times)

Unlike the violence in Iraq, the fighting in Afghanistan is not the result of a local population deeply hostile to American forces. A 2004 opinion poll by the Asia Foundation showed that 65 percent of Afghans had a favorable view of the United States government, and 67 percent had a favorable view of the American military - findings supported by my own observations and data from trips to the region during the last three years.

Nor is the fighting in Afghanistan the result of a failing American political and military strategy. American conventional and Special Forces have conducted effective strike operations and civic action programs that have undermined Taliban, Qaeda and Hezb-i-Islami insurgents and their local support network in Afghanistan.

Instead, a complex support network in Pakistan is the key to the Afghan insurgency's survival. Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan get supplies and help in Pakistani provinces like North-West Frontier and Baluchistan. Numerous captured Taliban prisoners have said they received training in Pakistani areas like the Mansehra district. Even more troubling, evidence suggests that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate has helped Taliban insurgents.


It's wise to save Western Pakistan until everything else is taken care of because even Democrats have to support operations against al Qaeda.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 22, 2005 11:58 PM
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