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The Case For Pakistan

Reader comment on item: U.S.-Pakistan Relations in Decline

Submitted by John in Michigan, USA (United States), May 4, 2011 at 18:46

The title of this post is designed to get readers. I don't actually support Pakistan, who has never really been an ally, who at best is a frenemy, at lately, is more like an enemy.

But still...we need them for at least three things:

1) The easiest path to a real, working nuke for al-Qaeda or other Islamist organizations is by gaining power in a country, like Pakistan, that already has them, and has the capacity to maintain and deploy them. The danger from whatever home-brew nuke or radiological bomb that these groups could cobble together on their own pales in comparison.

2) HUMINT, HUMINT, HUMINT. Even though Pakistan is de facto hostile, it is still far, far easier to recruit and maintain HUMINT sources in a country that lets us keep embassies, consulates, safe houses, etc. than in one that does not (such as Iran today, or Afghanistan during the Taliban era).

3) Until most US forces are out of Afghanistan, we need them for logistics. The only alternative routes to Afghanistan are Iran, a non-starter, or trusting Russia and the semi-autonomous dictatorships between Russia and Afghanistan.

4) The US-Pakistan military-military relationship is decades old. Even if the government falls, that relationship ensures we have at least some influence. It should not be discarded lightly.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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