Where Does Pakistan Fit In to the Afghanistan Strategy?
As I reported yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opted to invite Gen. David Petraeus to testify alongside Ambassador Karl Eikenberry this morning in order to get a sense of the place of Pakistan in the Obama administration’s revised Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. It’s a really valid question. Eikenberry and Gen. Stanley McChrystal deferred yesterday on Pakistan questions in their testimony, not wanting to go outside their wheelhouse. And, for that matter, President Obama’s West Point speech treated Pakistan with diminished rhetorical emphasis. News reports have suggested that’s because the administration thinks that it’s unproductive to keep calling Pakistan out, particularly at this latest volatile time in Pakistani politics. But soon we’ll here from Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia, about what the strategy holds for working with — and perhaps even around — the Pakistanis in the pursuit of durable success over al-Qaeda and its affiliates on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.