Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Give the Taliban an inch ...

Since my last post on Friday, a lot's been going on in the world, but one story in particular has caused great alarm in the world. No, not the pirates ... the Taliban.

Many have suggested that the time has come to sit down with the Taliban and negotiate a peaceful settlement. Frankly, I thought the war in Afghanistan was taking down the Taliban, and making sure as well they couldn't find safe haven in Pakistan. Well, obviously, NATO has now failed on both fronts. Not only is the Taliban alive and well and giving Western forces a run for the money as well as the drugs, but now they've managed to control a big enough area of Pakistan that they are now less than 100 km from the capital of Islamabad, just weeks after the country caved in and allowed the Taliban to take over the Swat Valley without so much as a tear.

Should we be helping the government in Pakistan? Probably, we should -- except all this time they've done next to nothing in the search for Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders, especially Osama bin Laden, so in a way the government there is getting what's coming to them, and the price will be a brand of Islam that isn't Islamic at all, but outright enslavement of an entire people.

And, as CNN points out on their front page today, Afghanistan is very much on Canada's mind as President Obama prepares to deploy nearly 20,000 troops to the country where they should have been in the first place.

We're committed to 2011, and that's a commitment we have to keep. But the fact remains we're getting hammered in what is essentially a decades-long civil war we have no business being in, and the vast majority of our NATO partners simply are not pulling their weight. Keep in mind, we're in free trade talks with the EU right now, and it's not easy to put trade trust in long standing allies who don't understand the threat the Taliban poses to security in South Asia as well as Europe, especially since Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

If Pakistan goes, then the West faces an even greater uphill battle. Can we really contemplate an invasion of that country to "liberate" it from an Islamic caliphate? What security implications will that pose as the war spreads to India and China? We are paying the price for an earlier leadership's refusal to do the job when it was supposed to be done. All the Taliban needs is for North Korea to become allied to them, and it'll be World War III.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"All the Taliban needs is for North Korea to become allied to them, and it'll be World War III." Scary thought, particularly with today's news that North Korea now has viable nuclear capability. Also, I don't know how much attention is being paid to how quickly Pakistan is falling to the Taliban. I had noted some stuff on online, but this does not appear to be prominent in the Western media.