Earlier reports that NATO forces were massed at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to attack Taliban-Qaeda forces based in ungoverned tribally-controlled areas of Pakistan appear to be greatly exaggerated:
BRUSSELS (AFP) — The NATO military alliance denied Wednesday that it was massing troops on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan but urged Islamabad to do more to stop Taliban militants taking refuge.When I read a report of the build-up early this morning, it seemed uncharacteristic of the Pakistanis to allow NATO into the country, so I assumed that NATO was going in without asking.
"There is not, nor is there going to be, an incursion of NATO troops into Pakistan. There is no planning for that, there is no mandate for that, and there is no troop movement in that direction," a spokesman said in Brussels.
If NATO were to do that--or the US were to do it unilaterally--what would that mean for Pakistan and the GWOT itself? Pakistan is supposed to be a US ally in the War, but President Pervez Musharraf has been barely hanging on--avoiding numerous assassination attempts. With or without permission, if we infidels come over the country's boarder, he will fall--especially if the reports of Pakistan's army and intelligence service being overrun with terrorists and extremists are true--and the country's nuclear weapons will be at the disposal of Islamists. But what to do about the Taliban and al Qaeda?
BTW, Obama is right about needing to give more attention to Afghanistan. It's his rationale for wanting to do so that's inconsistent; under parallel conditions in Iraq (before he momentarily noticed that the surge had served its purpose) he wanted us to pull out totally.
UPDATE: Afghanistan mini-surge?
Although there are no brigade-sized units that can be deployed quickly into Afghanistan, military leaders believe they can find a number of smaller units such as aviation, engineering and surveillance troops that can be moved more swiftly, said the official, who requested anonymity because the discussions are private.
The moves are expected to happen within weeks rather than months, the official said.
The decisions are being made against the backdrop of shifting priorities for the U.S. military, and were discussed during a meeting Wednesday of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [snip]
Faced with an increasingly sophisticated insurgency, particularly along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that sending more troops would have a significant impact on the violence.