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The Corner

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Pakistan



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On Pakistan, Obama’s explication is sound, but he did call for invading an ally, which was pretty offensive. McCain was right, too. Pakistan is so complicated and difficult that a lot of explaining is necessary, and there really isn’t a clear way to fix the problem.

Obama is wrong to blame Pakistan’s contempt for us on our support for Musharaff. Pakistan has come to despise us over 25 years, regardless of whether we supported the dictator or the opposition at any moment, or whether we gave them money and arms or embargoed it all. Their politics toward us stem from their domestic politics, and the encroachment of fundamentalist Islam in their fragmented, impovershed culture.

While I agree 1000% with McCain that we should not have abandoned Afghanistan in 1989, that nation is so fragmented and torn that it is not at all clear it can be put back together again. Morass. Swamp. Eater of Western armies. Yet we have learned that we can’t afford to let it become a vacuum, as these failed states do, which serves as a breeding ground for terror. So, we only have bad choices there, and steadiness and dealing from strength seem key.



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