Yes, But Can She Say That in Urdu?
“Our civilian commitment must continue even as our troops begin coming home,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning about the revised Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, reprising a theme of her testimony yesterday. She has said this for months, as has President Obama. And, for that matter, every relevant senior official has stated since at least March that the U.S. “will have an enduring commitment to Afghanistan” after the troops ultimately withdraw.
Well and good. The Pakistanis don’t believe it. From today’s New York Times:
“Is it in Pakistan’s interest to antagonize the Afghan Taliban now, if they will be in power two or three years down the road?” said Ahmed Rashid, author of “Descent Into Chaos,” explaining the thinking in Pakistani political and military circles. “Will the Americans actually deliver after the withdrawal, when the value of Pakistan decreases?”
“We will significantly expand, support and develop” aid to Pakistan, Clinton said that the hearing, “demonstrating” a commitment to Pakistan’s long-term well-being. Yet the message from Pakistan remains: We hate you; don’t leave us.