How to lose an “invaluable ally”

There are several reports in Dina about a U.S.-led ground assault, spurred by faulty intelligence, in Pakistan’s Waziristan province, near the Afghan border, that killed “at least 20 people, most of them women and children.” This is not the first such attack. Pakistan protested, of course, to the U.S. ambassador.

Let’s remember a little history. Following the 9/11 attacks, then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage warned Pakistan’s intelligence director that the U.S. would bomb Pakistan “back to the stone age” if it did not ally with the U.S. against the Taliban who then ruled Afghanistan. Said then-President (General) Pervez Musharraf of his decision to ally with the U.S., “One has to think and take actions in the interest of the nation, and that’s what I did.” Pakistan had previously supported the Taliban.

So we have to understand that Pakistan may only be a U.S. ally for fear of a U.S. attack on Pakistan’s soil. Pakistan chose to switch alliances at least in part to avert this attack. It did so despite significant support within Pakistan for the Taliban that extends even within Pakistan’s intelligence services, which might be why the U.S. did not vet its faulty intelligence with Pakistan. So despite Pakistan’s cooperation as an “invaluable ally” of the U.S., the U.S. attacks Pakistan anyway.

I don’t see how this works. The U.S. has a bunch of NATO nations sending troops to fight the U.S.’s unpopular war in Afghanistan, freeing up U.S. troops for an even more unpopular war in Iraq. They all do this because they see the U.S. as an “invaluable ally.” Yet, the U.S. attacks the territory of a country it calls an “invaluable ally.” With an ally like this, who needs enemies?

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