|September 17th, 2008 by Robert | Word Count: 582 | Reading Time 2:20||1,068 views|
Recently, word spread across the news channels that Pakistan ordered its troops to open fire upon any American troops that crossed the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Pakistan has played a large role in our war on terror in their region and has been an ally of America for quite some time. However, their government has been under pressure recently and their President was forced from office. Not long before this declaration, an American attack within Pakistan’s border helped ignite this situation. The primary problem with Pakistan is their lack of control of their border with Afghanistan. Taliban, Al Qaeda, and foreign extremists regularly cross back and forth through the mountainous region to carry out attacks on local US and foreign troops.
Pakistan, by issuing this direct order, has crossed the line from ally into something else. While I agree that allies are not given carte blanche to do as they please, things change when at war. US troops acted upon viable intelligence concerning rebels and carried out a strike against them. Yes, they were inside the Pakistan border where Pakistan has had issues implementing law. I’m fairly sure that 7 years into the war on terror, we would have a working agreement with our foreign “allies” allowing strikes given time circumstances and concrete intelligence regarding enemy locations. If we do not, then our foreign relations department should be removed and replaced with someone who can forge the necessary agreements between nations.
I’m not so sure that Pakistan is 100% on our side considering their extreme lack of judgment in this case. They have gone on record stating that their intent was misinterpreted. It’s pretty hard to misinterpret an order for troops to open fire against any US troops crossing the border. Imagine what kind of foreign policy backlash the US would have if a directive from our country was issued for our troops to shoot on site any Canadian or Mexican personnel. Would we be viewed as an ally of any kind whatsoever? I think not.
It surprises me that Pakistan has not come under extreme pressure from the free nations regarding their newly adopted stance. The only reason for issuing this directive is that Pakistan in fact supports in some manner, the extremists in question. Yes, we know the region is hard to maintain and control, that only means the ability of US troops should be required and ASKED for, not deterred by a threat of death. Our troops are not there to destroy civilian towns or kill innocent people. They are proceeding with caution on reliable knowledge about the whereabouts of enemy combatants.
While in our current war on terror, we are working towards eliminating the enemy elements. Ally nations should be on the same page regarding the removal of these sects. Yes, they are hiding amongst civilians, but they are also freely travelling to and from Afghanistan. Removing the abilities of the US troops in the region to carry out attacks and destroy the enemy when the host country has no ability to do so should be non-issue. As I said earlier, I believe Pakistan is bending to the local tribal leaders and sects and are in fact, allowing this to happen.
Handicapping the region’s security by playing partial ally can only destabilize the region and allow the enemy to gain better footing. Pakistan has made a dire error in judgment and unless they rescind their directive 100%, they cannot be trusted as an ally in the war on terror.