How's This For a New Pakistan Strategy?: Just Leave Already


Military writer Ralph Peters isn't the sort of guy who is slow to say "Bombs away!" So check out his recent New York Post column arguing for a new strategy toward Pakistan, the Fredo Corleone of our supposed allies in the war on terrorism.

Suppose we just left Pakistan, even withdrawing our embassy personnel? Without us to protect them when they go rogue, would Pakistan's murky intel thugs still launch terror strikes on India?

Pakistan would have to behave responsibly at last. Or face nuclear-armed India. And Pakistan's leaders know full well that a nuclear exchange would leave their country a wasteland. India would dust itself off and move on.

Of course, there's also the issue of the Pentagon's bewildering incompetence in placing 50,000 of our troops at the end of a 1,500-mile supply line through Pakistan, rendering our forces virtual hostages of Islamabad.

The answer's another dose of common sense: Instead of increasing our troop numbers in Afghanistan, cut them. Instead of embracing the hopeless task of building a modern nation where no nation of any kind has ever existed, concentrate exclusively on killing al Qaeda terrorists and the hard-line Taliban elements who help them.

Peters calls for reductions in force size in Afghanistan as well, arguing that

Our sole mission in Afghanistan should be killing terrorists. To that end, we need a smaller, lethal, unfettered force, not more agricultural experts and con-game contractors.

Emphasis in original. Peters believes that India can and will deal with Pakistan—and that China will play nice as well since Indian neutrality is "essential in any future conflict with the United States," so Beijing won't screw around too badly. Well worth reading, even if various questions (such as Pakistani nukes) aren't quite addressed. Whole thing here.

Reason interviewed Peters in 2003, when he was stumping for the Iraq war. And Jesse Walker noted his recent col on getting the hell out of Afghanistan.