The Corner

Pakistani Officials Miscalculate

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.

Bing WestMr. West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine, is a military historian. He has written ten books about our wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the latest of which is The Last Platoon: A Novel of the Afghanistan War.

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