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The Pakistani Strategic Shift Looks Real

A great piece in The Washington Post gives real reason to believe that the apparently-torrid pace of arrests in Pakistan of Afghan Taliban leaders is the result of a real strategic shift by Pakistani leadership that cultivated and then tolerated the Taliban for years. The arrest of deputy Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was planned for weeks, the result of increased integration — particularly with regard to surveillance technology — between the U.S. and Pakistani intelligence apparatuses. And that, in turn, was the broader result of the Obama administration’s year-long effort to convince the Pakistanis that it would cater to their interests, not merely expect Pakistan to cater to America’s. The Post:

Pakistan’s decision to go after the Afghan Taliban leadership reflects a quiet shift underway since last fall, said officials from both countries, who cited a November letter from President Obama to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as a turning point.

The letter, which was hand-delivered by U.S. national security adviser James L. Jones, offered additional military and economic assistance and help easing tensions with India, a bitter enemy of Pakistan. With U.S. facilitation, the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers have agreed to meet next week, the first high-level talks between the two countries since terrorist attacks in Mumbai in late 2008.

The letter also included an unusually blunt warning that Pakistan’s use of insurgent groups to pursue its policy goals would no longer be tolerated.

That Barack Obama sure doesn’t know how to deal with terrorism, does he?

Update: Although maybe that Baradar capture wasn’t quite so thoroughly planned

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