ISI switches management of Bajaur from Pakistani Government to Taliban

The War in Afghanistan and the fight in Pakistan are both part of a larger fight, in which the ISI is opposing American-Indian influence on both sides of the border.  In Afghanistan, this takes the form of supporting the Taliban, attacking the Indian embassy, and supporting those who kill Americans.  in Pakistan, this takes the form of supporting the Taliban, attacking the regular government of Pakistan, and supporting those who kill Americans.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Taliban fighters forced Pakistani soldiers to retreat from a militants’ stronghold near the border with Afghanistan over the weekend, after a three-day battle sent civilians fleeing from government airstrikes.

The pullback from Bajaur, an area of Pakistan’s tribal region where the Taliban and Al Qaeda have forged particularly close ties, came after the military began an offensive there late last week.

Taliban Force Pakistani Troops From Tribal Area – NYTimes.com.

Dangerous stuff.  Our goal must be to defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan-Afghanistan, while using general counter-insurgency principles to turn our enemies into their enemies. To the extent that we can move “ownership” of the situation to India, the better.

What is the best way to do this in light of other important priorities?  I am particularly thinking of that other Central Asian dictatorship, Russia.

Iran starting to back Georgia?

Courtesy Josh SN, I certainly hope so.  Iran’s state paper:

International concerns mounted as Russia bombed a key Georgian port and the Georgian city of Gori.

The European Union and NATO have called for a halt to hostilities and the UN Security Council was to meet again Saturday seeking agreement on a call for an immediate ceasefire after talks failed Friday.

EU foreign policy chief Solana was to speak with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko as part of efforts to resolve the conflict, an official said.

Condemnation was particularly strong from among a group of former Soviet satellite states, most whom are now EU members and who number among pro-western Georgia’s allies.

Following talks between the presidents of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Petras Vaitiekunas is in Georgia on a fact-finding mission.

tehran times : World urges Russia to curb onslaught.

I earlier wrote that I would gladly give Iran nuclear weapons to turn it away from Russia.  Hopefully Bush will make the same choice.

A worthless little text file of a blog

Generally, whenever a post includes a phrase such as “I dunno, go kill a few Muslims somewhere,” you know that it’s channeling Kos.

As with the most incoherent of the comments I’ve received on Georgia’s invasion of Georgia (MLK’s rambling “The above post is just absolute warmongering garbage.) it criticizes a domestic political opponent of the writer by mixing accurate statements and paranoid garbage in a way that destroys meaning and makes a coherent reply impossible.

8/8/08, like 8/2/90 and 9/11/01

was a day when history turned. On August 2, 1990, Iraq used the opportunity of American success in the Cold War to launch an invasion of a sovereign, recognized, and important country: Kuwait. On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda used the opportunity of the American-led extinction of interstate war to launch a direct territorial attack on the United States. And on August 8, 2008, Russia used the opportunity of apparent American success in Iraq to launch an invasion of a sovereign, recognized, and important country: Georgia.

In Vladimir Putin, we have Saddam Hussein with nuclear weapons.

The Long War against al Qaeda will continue after 8/8/08, just as America still led mop-up operations against communism after 8/2/90. Still, the world has changed. Russia’s invasion of Georgia opens the door to a world much more violent than aynthing we have seen in a generation. Interstate war, that nightmare of history that has been with us since the formation of strong stages, may be back as a tool of diplomacy between neighbors in important places.

There are many implications of this new time. After 8/2/80, men of goodwill naturally cheered the death of Iraqi soldiers in battle (as it weakened our enemy. After 9/11/01, we naturally were hopeful after every airstrike killed an al Qaeda operative. After 8/8, we must similarly smile everytime a Russian soldier dies, whether from a Georgian surface-to-air missile, a Chechen explosion, or a submarine accident. Obviously, we regret that this time of death has come. But the choice is Vladimir Putin’s. And the alternative is much worse.

Everything does not change overnight. For both better and worse, 8/8/08 does not have the emotional chock of 9/11/01. This allows us to finish up business in Afghanistan-Pakistan, without the smarminess that characterized our post-8/2/90 mop-up operations after 9/11/01. Occasionally we will have opportunities to do both at once, as the Iraq War both destroyed the Saddam regime that launched the 8/2/90 invasion and send feedback after 9/11.

An example of this might be separating the militant Islamists of central Asia from al Qaeda’s anti-Americanism. In southern Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan, this may come from co-opting the Taliban in the way that we co-opted Anbar’s tribes in the “Surge.” In Chechnya, this may be from working with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s ISI in arming mujaheddin. In China, this may mean stepping-up cooperating with China against the Turkestan Islamic Party, making Russia a more attractive target for Jihad than a Core country like the People’s Republic.

It’s wrong to say that “everything changed” on 8/8. But certainly priorities changed. Realities changed.

And the proper understanding of Vladimir Putin changed. By attempting to overthrow the peaceful global order, he is not merely a mafia captain, but rather a revolutionary chieftain. A Saddam Hussein with nukes.

I wonder how long it will be before Maria and Yekaterina meet Uday and Qusay?