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Sat, 09 Oct 2010 14:32:36

The flaming hulks of NATO fuel trucks, stretching from the AfPak border to Islamabad cast a baleful light on the shadow war we have been waging in Pakistan.

Understand, the Taliban thugs who torched those tankers have the sympathy of every Pakistani whose lives are threatened daily by the rain of Hellfire missiles.

In the last month, the Pentagon and the CIA have more than doubled their Predator attacks over Pakistan. Their stated rationale? They need to beef up their Boogey Men body count before the White House does their reassessment of the whole AFPak adventure.

It's time we made our reassessment.

(1) What can we accomplish by putting boots on the ground and drones in the air in Pakistan? The Taliban and a broad range of other hard line, Islamist groups are standard fare in a country that was founded as a breakaway Islamic haven.

(2) What real help can we expect from the Pakistani army, government or security services? For decades, they have been using us, lying to us and supporting the warlords and jihadists who have been killing us.

(3) What have our incursions into Pakistan accomplished except to increase the risk of terrorist attacks against our homeland? The Times Square car bomber was provoked by our Predator strikes. He is not alone.

(4) What level of blood and treasure will we have to pour into Pakistan to make a difference? 100,000 troops and $2,000,000,000 a week isn't doing the job in Afghanistan.

(5) What's the end game? Will it take the head of Bin Laden, a feminist Taliban, an opium free Afghanistan and text book democracies from Baghdad to Baluchistan to satisfy us?  Can't we just pack up The American Dream and come home?

If we answer these questions and choose to act, we have a shot at turning this madness around. If not; we can join the drones at home, follow our leaders and pay the parking meters. Buddy, can you spare a dime?

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