The Campaign Spot

NATO Forces Attack Targets In Pakistan

The candidates’ proposed Pakistan policies may be on the verge of becoming moot. The latest:

NATO forces in Afghanistan attacked targets inside Pakistan with artillery and attack helicopters after coming under rocket fire from across the border, the alliance said on Wednesday.

The London Times makes this sound like this part of a shift in policy — hey, maybe Obama was ahead of the curve, maybe we are invading Pakistan — and Ed Morrissey offers a dramatically different interpretation of a U.S. attack that hit a Pakistani border post:

The attacks coming out of Pakistan have begun including Pakistani armed forces, which led to the US killing a number of them as they ran back across the border after a failed ambush. Pakistan protested the deaths, but the US released video showing soldiers fleeing American gunships in Afghanistan — where they didn’t belong.

Today’s New York Times doesn’t quite confirm it, but strangely suggests the Pakistani soldiers could have been ‘intermingled” with the Taliban insurgents.

The Pakistani forces killed were apparently inside the border post or possibly in bunkers near it, perhaps intermingled with the insurgents who had retreated back across the border into Pakistan after firing on the allied troops on the Afghan side, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry’s results had not yet been officially released.

Anyway, last night, Obama said, “what we need to do is to form an alliance with the Pakistani people, saying that we’re willing to significantly increase aid for humanitarian purposes, for schools, for hospitals, for health care. We want to support democratic efforts in Pakistan. But in exchange, we’ve got to have some firmness about going after al Qaeda and Taliban, because it’s not good for American security, but it’s also not good for Pakistani security.”
I was reminded of Obama’s recent statement that it was important to persuade the Iranian regime that having a nuclear weapon is not in their own best interest. Easy to say, tough to do.
Plenty of Pakistanis know that going after al Qaeda and Taliban is good for Pakistani security. Musharraf knows it, because they tried to kill him. Benazir Bhutto knew it, and her supporters know it.
But the ISI, or at least part of it, doesn’t seem to see it that way and there’s a question as to how the Pakistani military, in particular the Frontier Corps, a force of about 85,000 members recruited from ethnic groups on the border, feel about them.

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