A Philosopher's Blog

Leaks, Pakistan and the Taliban

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on July 27, 2010
The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...
Image via Wikipedia

WikiLeaks recently published (formerly) secret information about the war in Afghanistan.  As is to be expected, this leak has been attacked as being a threat to “national security.” Of course, that line is used so often  that its edge has been blunted.

The leaked information seems to support the obvious-Pakistan has probably been providing support for the Taliban. As the experts have long pointed out, Pakistan’s main concern is with its traditional rival, India and it makes sense that they would cultivate groups that they believed could be used to counter India. In this regard, they were taking a page out of our play book-we have been willing to bolster comparable groups to use against our enemies. In fact, we did so in Afghanistan itself, back when the Soviets were the occupying force.

As happened to us, the Pakistanis found that the groups they supported were not eternally grateful. After all, Pakistan has found itself in danger from some of the people it had previously supported.

While the revelations of the alleged connection between Pakistan and the Taliban will create some political trouble (after all, we have been pouring vast sums of money into Pakistan and it seems likely that some of this has been funneled to the very Taliban that has been killing Americans), I suspect that the United States will continue to work with Pakistan. In fact, some experts have argued that we should be willing to work with the Taliban, provided that they agree to not attack us and agree to not work with groups that might attack the United States. Since we already seem to have been funding the Taliban, perhaps we already have the basis for a working relationship.

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