THE OTHER FORGOTTEN WAR. I agree with Dana that the actual policy prescription offered in this David Ignatius article seems a bit implausible. Trusting the CIA to successfully carry out a large, covert counterterrorism operation in the mountainous region of Pakistan by arming tribal warlords seems, well, risky. The type of thing we regret a couple decades down the road when it's created sixteen new dictatorships.
That said, the actual question Ignatius raises is an important one. Al Qaeda is, so far as we know, reconstituting themselves in Northwest Pakistan. Like in Afghanistan, they basically control a swath of territory and are using it as a new base of operations. As liberals constantly point out, Bush's actions in Iraq have done wonders for both their recruitment and their financial situation. As liberals also like to point out, the war in Iraq is a distraction from the War on Terror.
So, uh, what do we think should be done about the War on Terror? I agree that Ignatius's policy prescription seems dangerous, but what's the alternative? What do we think should be done about the reemergence of al Qaeda in Waziristan? The war in Iraq is indeed a distraction from the War on Terror -- but that doesn't me we can let it totally distract us.
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