Defense Secretary Gates Makes Surprise Visit To Pakistan
At this stage in the global war on terror, it is concerning that we would feel the need of continuing to reiterate that our efforts and goals are genuine. In a statement, Gates said this:
“The main focus of my visit is . . . to provide reassurances that we are in this for the long haul and intend to continue to be a partner of theirs for far into the future,”
Now it is somewhat ironic that we are looking to make the goals of the United States clear, when the goals of Pakistan remains somewhat unclear.
The citizenry of the country does not like the United States drone attacks on the border region with Afghanistan, as well as the fact that they believe that the Pakistani government is a puppet of our government. Further, there have been rumors within Pakistan of the United States trying to take over the that country’s nukes.
Key Cog In Our Homeland Security
Unfortunately, the allegiances of the Pakistani government are not 100% clear, as it would appear to treat various groups who are potentially dangerous to the safety of the world differently, depending on which may support it’s political interests.
There is also the continuing threat of the ongoing India/Pakistan conflict escalating into a nuclear conflict, as well as the ever present threat of a coup and government takeover by the military in Pakistan. Should a more radical leadership assume power there, all bets may be off.
The bottom line is that while winning the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people is a noble effort, it is an extremely uphill climb, if not impossible, to ever accomplish. The United States should pursue the worlds interests by relentlessly going after the terrorists on the Afghan/Pakistan border, while attempting to keep the Pakistani government engaged in doing the same.
We should try and keep the Pakistani people on board with our efforts, but those who do not believe in our fight most likely never will. Hopefully the Obama administration will not bow to diplomatic efforts by limiting our military ones.
This is after all, one critical spoke in the war on terror, with other spokes such as Yemen, Nigeria and even domestic ones, popping up all of the time.
If at some point the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people are won, so much the better. We do not, however, have the luxury of waiting for it to occur before we aggressively pursue the terrorists where they live.