Pakistani Officials Miscalculate

by Bing West

Pakistani officials are demanding a reduction in the number of drone strikes and Special Forces trainers. The officials believe the U.S. is in the position of weakness in the bilateral relationship, both because terrorists have a refuge in Pakistan and because Pakistan has over three dozen nuclear weapons that the U.S. wants to keep out of terrorist hands. Therefore, according to Pakistani calculus, the U.S. must go along with whatever limitations Pak officials demand. Otherwise, Pakistan may fall apart and the terrorists will take over. Hence the weak control the strong.

These officials have forgotten that the U.S. Congress and public are not impressed with irrational mental gymnastics. Pakistani officials are undercutting the goodwill that is necessary to insure American funding and economic support.

— Bing West is the author of The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan.

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