An Ally of Necessity
Over the past nine years, more Pakistani than NATO troops have lost their lives fighting the Taliban.
By HUSAIN HAQQANI, Wall Street Journal JULY 27, 2010
The much publicized leaking of several thousand classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan may have provided the war's American critics an opportunity to press their objections. It does not, however, make the case against military and political cooperation between the governments of the United States and Pakistan, made necessary by the challenge of global terrorism.
Under elected leaders, Pakistan is working with the U.S. to build trust between our militaries and intelligence agencies. In recent months, Pakistan has undertaken a massive military operation in the region bordering Afghanistan, denying space to Taliban extremists who had hoped to create a ministate with the backing of al Qaeda. Pakistan-Afghanistan relations have been enhanced to an unprecedented degree. And exchanges of intelligence between Pakistan and the U.S. have foiled several terrorist plots around the globe. The WikiLeaks controversy and the ensuing speculation about Pakistan's role in the global effort against the terrorists should not disrupt the ongoing efforts of the U.S. and Pakistan to contain and destroy the forces of extremism and fanaticism that threaten the entire world.
Pakistan is crucial for helping Afghanistan attain stability while pursuing the defeat of al Qaeda led terrorist ideologues. For that reason the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have denounced the leaking of unattributed and unprocessed information implicating Pakistan in supporting or tolerating the Taliban. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, a Democrat, warned Monday against judging Pakistan's role in the Afghan war by "outdated reports," adding that Pakistan had "significantly stepped up its fight against the Taliban." Most Americans and many Pakistanis agree on the need for improvements in Pakistan's efforts, but that is not the same as suspecting lack of cooperation.
The tragedy that has unfolded in South Asia is the product of a long series of policy miscalculations spanning fully 30 years. The U.S., in its zeal to defeat the Soviet Union—a noble goal indeed—selected Afghanistan as a venue. Pakistan became caught up in an ideological battle between communism and a politicized version of our Islamic faith. The most violent and most radical elements of the Mujahedeen resistance were empowered to fight the surrogate war against the Russians. Concerns—such as former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's warning in 1989 while visiting the U.S. that the world had created a Frankenstein monster in Afghanistan that would come back to haunt us—were generally ignored.
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Pakistan dismisses Afghan war leak as skewed - Xinhua
US lawmaker says leaks paint 'outdated' Pakistan picture - Dawn
Afghan Document Leak: Why America's Allies Are Hedging Their Bets - TIME