Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Pakistan’s shaky bet on a weak hand

The government of Pakistan is betting that we have nowhere else to go, that we are stuck with them, and that they are too big to fail. I think that proposition is about to be tested. Hmm. What would a policy of containment of Pakistan look like? Meanwhile, Vali Nasr has an interesting take on ...

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The government of Pakistan is betting that we have nowhere else to go, that we are stuck with them, and that they are too big to fail. I think that proposition is about to be tested.

Hmm. What would a policy of containment of Pakistan look like?

Meanwhile, Vali Nasr has an interesting take on the bin Laden raid, which he interprets -- I think rightly-as an operation against the Pakistani security establishment. In his view, the United States government showed it can find out what it needs to find out in Pakistan, even where the military is keeping someone hidden in a military town: "The ISI used the [Raymond] Davis imbroglio to reduce the CIA's footprint in Pakistan. It did not want more Davises poking around every nook and cranny -- exactly the kind of legwork that led the CIA to bin Laden."

The government of Pakistan is betting that we have nowhere else to go, that we are stuck with them, and that they are too big to fail. I think that proposition is about to be tested.

Hmm. What would a policy of containment of Pakistan look like?

Meanwhile, Vali Nasr has an interesting take on the bin Laden raid, which he interprets — I think rightly-as an operation against the Pakistani security establishment. In his view, the United States government showed it can find out what it needs to find out in Pakistan, even where the military is keeping someone hidden in a military town: "The ISI used the [Raymond] Davis imbroglio to reduce the CIA’s footprint in Pakistan. It did not want more Davises poking around every nook and cranny — exactly the kind of legwork that led the CIA to bin Laden."

And I see where the most wanted Indonesian terrorist was picked up January in Abbotabad. Wonder who he was visting?

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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