In an editorial in the new Weekly Standard, I argue that, following Admiral Mike Mullen’s revelations about Pakistani involvement in the Haqqani network’s attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kabul and other American targets, it is time to get tough with Pakistan. I suggest we start treating Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency the way we treated Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq. That is to say, apply the full range of our power–everything from diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, to kinetic military action–to curb the menace posed by this group. The case for such action is made stronger by this report in USA Today:
Pakistan is the source of explosives in the vast majority of makeshift bombs insurgents in Afghanistan planted this summer to attack U.S. troops, according to U.S. military commanders.
From June through August, U.S. troops detected or were hit by 5,088 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the most for any three-month period since the war began in 2001. Those bombs killed 63 troops and wounded 1,234, Defense Department records show. More than 80 percent of the IEDs are homemade explosives using calcium ammonium nitrate fertilizer produced in Pakistan, said Navy Capt. Douglas Borrebach, deputy director for resources and requirements at the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization.
These facts have long been known to U.S. military commanders, and they have been made known to Pakistan, along with demands the government in Islamabad do something to shut down these IED factories. Nothing has been done, and American troops continue to pay the price. I realize there will be costs to tougher action against Pakistan, including the possibility a NATO supply line through Pakistan could be shut, but the status quo is simply untenable.