There’s a story in The New York Times about some people inside the military who want to export the alleged success of the Anbar Awakening to Pakistan. Shawn Brimley and Ilan Goldenberg raise some good skeptical notes, but there’s this whopper of a fly in the ointment lurking deep, deep, deep in to the story:
The training of the Frontier Corps remains a concern for some. NATO and American soldiers in Afghanistan have often blamed the Frontier Corps for aiding and abetting Taliban insurgents mounting cross-border attacks. “It’s going to take years to turn them into a professional force,” said one Western military official. “Is it worth it now?”
It’s too bad that the quotation here really has nothing to do with the issue at hand, which is that the people we’re proposing to fund are fighting alongside the Taliban. That’s not “unprofessional” it’s just not in America’s strategic interests. The last thing we need is a better funded, trained, and equipped more professionalized pro-Taliban military force in Pakistan. I wish the article had looked at this a bit deeper.