So it has come to this. Pakistani authorities miffed about the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden leak the name of the CIA station chief to the Islamabad press corps.
Pakistan is all for the red, white and blue until the check comes through. If there were ever a signal about the time to part ways, this is it.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza “Tumbleweed” Gilani was upset anyone would imply his country’s intelligence services or army were “in cahoots” with bin Laden. Fuzzy, Jingles, Hopalong and the rest of his sidekicks in the Pakistani Cabinet apparently agree.
The United States knew exactly what it was up against when it risked the lives of Navy SEALs to find bin Laden, who had been living comfortably in Abbottabad for five years. In the big place, over by the military bases, but if you get to the officer training academies, you’ve gone too far.
U.S. planners did not share their intentions because they had zero confidence in their ostensible ally. That pretty well defines the relationship going forward.
Failure of the Pakistanis and the U.S. to work together twins well with the inability to define a continuing mission in Afghanistan. Time to go, again.
The U.S. gave up on Afghanistan in the middle of the past decade, when it turned its attention to Iraq. Efforts to rekindle a reason to be there have not produced any results.
Indeed, the United States has suffered casualties at the hands of Afghans they are training to replace American and allied troops.
Now the Pakistanis betray a U.S. intelligence agent for plain old retribution and hometown politics. The Americans moseyed into a box canyon with an ornery varmint that has nuclear weapons.
(The Seattle Times, May 13)