Adam Blickstein looks at some confusing reports about the state of play in Pakistan. Reports, one assumes, are bound to be somewhat confusing as the new government is trying to jell and people are, presumably, at least somewhat inclined to lie to both the U.S. government and the Pakistani people about the extent of their cooperation with our government.
The very complexity of the situation is a reminder that when we talk about Iraq taking resources away from the Afghanistan-Pakistan situation, we’re not just talking about X number of planes and Y number of soldiers. We’re also talking about scarce resources like attention and expertise. It’s a complicated, delicate, multi-faceted situation — do we have our best diplomats working on it? Are agency heads and cabinet secretaries in DC spending enough time staying on top of events? Is the President paying attention? These aren’t just questions for the Bush administration, they’ll be questions for a Democratic administration as well. Reducing force levels in Iraq down to a “residual” point will solve some of the resource problems relating to inattention to Central Asia but not all of them by any means.