Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The War After Next

Here is an excerpt from Seth G. Jones In the Graveyard of Empires, pg. 257:

[Setting; a military outpost near the Pakistani border; 2005]

At 1 a.m., approximately forty insurgents came over the mountain passes from Pakistan and assaulted the Afghan observation post. Pakistani military observation posts to the east and southeast, at distances of a quarter and half mile, provided supporting fire of heavy machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.  [EMPHASIS MINE]

Jones' book is rife with stories like the one above; stories of Afghan and American forces coming under attack from Pakistani army and Frontier Corps forces along the Af/Pak border. These stories are too common to ignore and are echoed by Amhed Rashid and David Killcullen. I think its time to begin to think about - not the next war, that one is apparently being scheduled with Iran - but the war after next. The war after we fail in Afghanistan and get attacked again. The war that will pit us directly against a nuclear armed south Asian state with 170 million citizens.

Pakistan is not America's ally. The sooner we deal with that reality the less painful the separation will be. 

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