Tuesday, August 5, 2008

US eyes up Pakistan's lawless lands

The prospect of direct US military intervention against al-Qaida in Pakistan is increasing, but they may regret taking action

Simon Tisdall
guardian.co.uk, Monday August 04 2008

"......Under discussion now, according to US and Pakistani officials, are plans for the insertion of US-trained Pakistani special forces into the border badlands, backed by US advisers and US air power; the deployment of more sophisticated US-supplied technology and communications equipment; increased intelligence sharing; and greater use, in theoretical consultation with Islamabad, of Predator missile strikes.

The plans are still under discussion. But Congressional threats to withhold military and other funding if Pakistan demurs, and offers of big economic assistance packages if it plays ball, suggest the Americans will get their way.

They should be careful what they wish for. By any measure, this is a fraught undertaking. And given the brutal history of an ungoverned region the British signally failed to tame, the Americans may come to rue the day they crossed the Durand Line."

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