Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

David Ignatius’ epitaph for Pakistan

Longtime grasshoppers know I am a big fan of the commentary of David Ignatius. So, no surprise, I think he is right in his comments on how Pakistan has blown it over the last decade: Pakistan is losing the best chance in its history to gain political control over all of its territory — including ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

Longtime grasshoppers know I am a big fan of the commentary of David Ignatius. So, no surprise, I think he is right in his comments on how Pakistan has blown it over the last decade:

Pakistan is losing the best chance in its history to gain political control over all of its territory -- including the warlike tribal areas along the frontier.

Pakistan has squandered the opportunity presented by having a large U.S.-led army just over the border in Afghanistan. Rather than work with the United States to stabilize a lawless sanctuary full of warlords and terrorists, the Pakistanis decided to play games with these outlaw groups. As a result, Pakistan and its neighbors will be less secure, probably for decades. . . . The Pakistanis lost a chance over the past decade to build and secure their country. It won't come back again in this form. That's a small problem for the United States and its allies, but a big problem for Pakistan.

Longtime grasshoppers know I am a big fan of the commentary of David Ignatius. So, no surprise, I think he is right in his comments on how Pakistan has blown it over the last decade:

Pakistan is losing the best chance in its history to gain political control over all of its territory — including the warlike tribal areas along the frontier.

Pakistan has squandered the opportunity presented by having a large U.S.-led army just over the border in Afghanistan. Rather than work with the United States to stabilize a lawless sanctuary full of warlords and terrorists, the Pakistanis decided to play games with these outlaw groups. As a result, Pakistan and its neighbors will be less secure, probably for decades. . . . The Pakistanis lost a chance over the past decade to build and secure their country. It won’t come back again in this form. That’s a small problem for the United States and its allies, but a big problem for Pakistan.

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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