Sunday, January 06, 2008

Good Ideas Caught Smoking in the Bathroom with Bad Ideas

Uh, Oh: U.S. Special Forces May Head to Pakistan - Noah Shachtman @ The Danger Room

Now, we've heard Sen. Obama's desire to send American forces into Pakistan if he had 'actionable intelligence' that pointed to Osama Bin Laden being in Pakistan. And we've heard how this would end up as another boondoggle for U.S. forces as without permission by the Pakistani government we might inadvertantly topple the government. Now we have some reporting here by the fellows and friends of the Danger Room saying that U.S. forces are being assembled for possible incursions into western Pakistan where many Taliban and Al Qaeda are said to have gain a foothold for attacks into Afghanistan against NATO forces. This area of Pakistan is a traditionally tribal one and one prone to supporting the radical actions of the jihadists in the area. From what these two new Danger Room bloggers are saying, such incursions are too little, too late and would do more harm than good in stablizing Pakistan (which I think it bears reminding, holds nuclear-armed missles, among other things).
Generalized chaos in a certain region is typically good for the assaulting forces as it gives them time to act before their opposing forces can reassemble, but in areas like western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan, this kind of tactic doesn't often work as local knowledge gives the defending forces a distinct advantage. Moreover, this generalized chaos would not remain contained in the region. Military action in this region often reverberates through the country in the form of politics and since we are trying to maintain a stable political situation, particularly at this time in Pakistan's history (re: Bhutto's assassination), it doesn't make any kind of sense to send in U.S. forces.

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