Pakistan sees the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as an opportunity to push the United States to adopt its approach to Afghanistan, namely to cut a deal with al-Qaeda elements and bring them into a “final settlement,” the New York Times reported this morning.
“Pakistan is exploiting the troubled United States military effort in Afghanistan to drive home a political settlement with Afghanistan that would give Pakistan important influence there but is likely to undermine United States interests,” the Times quoted Pakistani and American officials. “The dismissal of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal will almost certainly embolden the Pakistanis in their plan as they detect increasing American uncertainty, Pakistani officials said. The Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, preferred General McChrystal to his successor, Gen. David H. Petraeus, whom he considers more of a politician than a military strategist, said people who had spoken recently with General Kayani.”
Pakistani intelligence helped create the Taliban and has supported it throughout, as an instrument against India. Now Pakistan is proposing to “deliver” an al-Qaeda ally, the network of Sirajuddin Haqqani, which Pakistan has sheltered throughout.
The TImes reports adds that the proposed deal with Haqqani “provides another indication of how Pakistan, ostensibly an American ally, has worked many opposing sides in the war to safeguard its ultimate interest in having an Afghanistan that is pliable and free of the influence of its main strategic obsession, its more powerful neighbor, India. The Haqqani network has long been Pakistans crucial anti-India asset and has remained virtually untouched by Pakistani forces in their redoubt inside Pakistan, in the tribal areas on the Afghan border, even as the Americans have pressed Pakistan for an offensive against it.”
My prediction: Gen. Petraeus will take the Pakistani deal, and provide “surge” payoffs to al-Qaeda and Taliban elements. In Iraq, the “surge” consisted mainly of putting 100,000 Sunni fighters on the payroll of the American-funded “Sunni awakening.” Al-Qaeda and the Taliban will keep the American money, sit tight for a year, let the Americans go home, and take over the country.
The alternative, as I proposed in an On the Square essay June 24, is to persuade India to help us in Aghanistan and read Pakistan the riot act for supporting terrorists who are killing Americans.