Three Reasons We Should Still Be Allied With Pakistan

Did the government of Pakistan know that Osama Bin Laden was holed up in Abbottabad? It seems highly likely that at least SOME government officials, ISI agents, or members of their armed forces knew where he was. How far up the chain of command did it go? We don’t know. It was already public knowledge that the ISI was compromised, at least to some extent. That’s why we didn’t warn them we were coming.

Given the circumstances, it’s fair to ask, “Should we tell Pakistan to go to hell and cut off the 1.3 billion dollars in aid we’re giving to them?”

For the moment, my answer would have to be “No.”

There are three reasons for that.

The first is that we NEED them to maintain our supply lines into Afghanistan. In other words, if Pakistan doesn’t cooperate with us, then “War’s over, man.” We’re moving towards that day, but this would be a terrible time to do it. It would mean a loss in Afghanistan, a resurgent Taliban/Al-Qaeda presence there, and abandoning everything we’ve already accomplished.

The second thing to keep in mind is that Pakistan IS NOT an enemy nation that’s allied with Al-Qaeda. They’re a divided nation. They have tribal areas that they don’t control. Significant portions of the country are radicalized. The ISI is compromised. The government has shaky control over the country.

Now consider that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. So, is there a legitimate chance that radical Islamist crazies with close ties to Al-Qaeda could get their hands on nukes if that country falls apart? You bet — and my friends, that most certainly WOULD NOT be in our national interest.

Last but not least, we are still fighting and killing members of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, with the help of the Pakistani government. We walk away and Al-Qaeda will develop a secure base of operations in those tribal areas that the government will probably be very reluctant to tackle. Again, not in our national interest.

$1.3 billion? It’s A LOT of money. But, we’ve spent a lot more than that in Afghanistan that would go to waste if we lost tomorrow. It also would cost a hell of a lot more than a billion dollars to recover from a nuclear weapon going off in NYC, DC, or LA — which could happen if we left Pakistan in the lurch right now.

It’s easy to say, “Screw those guys, right now,” and it’s harder to be patient for a little while longer, especially when there’s no defined date when we can wash our hands of Pakistan. Still, as Ben Franklin said, “He that can have Patience, can have what he will.”

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