Welcome to Waziristan

Tony Blankley concludes that the Waziristan Accord between Pakistan and North Waziristan represents “a substantial defeat in the war against radical Islam.” Blankley credits Daveed Gartenstein-Ross’s Weekly Standard article — “Pakinstan surrenders” — and a few blogs for their reporting and commentary on this development. Blankley speculates and concludes:

I don’t have any basis for this, but I can’t help wondering whether Musharraf is planning to retire. His announcement at a joint press conference with President Bush of a book deal with Simon and Schuster and its serialization in Time magazine was beyond weird.

Not only is it rare for a sitting national leader (particularly in mid-crisis) to publish his memoirs, but what he says in them is in conflict with his fiercely held public position regarding the War on Terror. Last year, I was personally and forcefully instructed by a senior Pakistani official that Pakistan is not helping us with our war on terror, they are voluntarily fighting their own war on terror.

And yet, Musharraf reports in his book that he was threatened with U.S. bombing if he didn’t become our ally — and he agreed to it only after calculating the consequences of crossing us.

Whatever is going on in Pakistan (and we must hope that the men who replace Musharraf sooner or later will not be more sympathetic to the Taliban and al Qaeda, and will be at least as careful in controlling their nuclear weapons), our effort to stand up Afghanistan and suppress the Taliban and al Qaeda in the region has suddenly taken on an even more formidable dimension.

There are no ready solutions to the dilemma. With Pakistan now hors de combat, our already undermanned forces in Afghanistan will soon have to engage the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan — fighting some of the world’s most resourceful and cruel fighters in the most unforgiving lands on earth.

We ask a lot — and we get even more — from our brave and smart young warriors. But from Iraq to the Horn of Africa to Afghanistan and now to northern Pakistan, there is a limit to what our current number of active forces can possibly accomplish. And the list of danger spots will only grow in the coming years. Whether we like the fact or not, the ranks and lands (and confidence) of the enemy are growing. And they can’t be sweet talked out of taking the fight to America.

We must come to terms with reality — and soon. We are going to have to substantially increase the size of our army and Marines to face the growing threats to our national security.


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