18 January 2010

The Afghan war heads toward Pakistan

Excerpts from an interesting article last month in Asia Times:
While the surge of 30,000 United States troops in Afghanistan can only lead to an escalation of fighting, a major problem looms across the border, where al-Qaeda plans a new front against the Pakistan army - a move that will further dry up Islamabad's vital support for the war in Afghanistan...

Simultaneously, al-Qaeda sources have told Asia Times Online, al-Qaeda has re-established itself in Somalia and Yemen.  From Somalia, the sources say, al-Qaeda plans to further disrupt trade routes around the Horn of Africa, while from Yemen, al-Qaeda aims to make a comeback in Iraq and in Saudi Arabia and beyond...

The objective, very much like the attacks on Mumbai in November 2008, was to spark a war between Pakistan and India that would force Pakistan to disengage from any support of the war in Afghanistan. As al-Qaeda sees it, victory in Afghanistan runs through Pakistan, and in combating the Pakistan army...

Apart from whatever steps the Pakistani army takes to suppress the militants, the pro-American coalition in Islamabad is losing its grip. The situation is developing into a struggle between the civilian government on the one side and the Supreme Court and the military establishment on the other side. The sole beneficiary of this is likely to be al-Qaeda, as the state will lose its focus in the war against that group. The loser will be the United States...

While the US focus is Afghanistan and the fresh 30,000 troops it will have there, al-Qaeda will push on to open up the war theater in Pakistan. At the same time, it has consolidated in Yemen and Somalia... Al-Qaeda took about five years to reach a turning point in the Afghanistan and Pakistani tribal areas, but the al-Qaeda leadership is convinced that its Yemen and Somalia operations will take a much shorter time.

More at the link.  Political cartoon via The Frustrated Teacher.


  1. We didn't listen to the French over forty years ago either. See where that got us.

  2. I think you may be guilty of wishful linking!

    I can't seem to find the cartoon you are attributing to me!

  3. December 1, 2009. I sometimes save good items a long time before using them.

    I really like your blog.


  4. Well. I am wrong again (as usual?).

    Thanks for the h/t! Love your blog.


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