India and Pakistan: Ten Years Later, Did America Back the Wrong Horse?
Ten years ago, as U.S. special forces and intelligence agents coordinated airstrikes and a Northern Alliance offensive against the Taliban, Pakistani intelligence agents began evacuating their “assets” from the country, including the very Taliban and al-Qaida operatives the U.S. sought in connection with the 9/11 attacks. (I dubbed it the “Airlift of Evil” back then, and the name stuck). Whether Osama bin Laden was among them is uncertain, but his discovery in a quiet corner of a Pakistani military garrison town certainly suggests so.
A week ago I managed to get a question in edge-wise at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting “Historymakers” session, which featured my old boss Tom Brokaw interviewing Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former supreme commander in Afghanistan. The entire conversation is revealing and tremendously relevant to the continuing struggle to stabilize that country, and Brokaw, ‘old media snake’ that he is (as he mockingly referred to himself), wisely kept the question about McChrystal’s infamous crash and burn interview with Rolling Stone until the very end.
But I was glad to get a chance to put this question to a U.S. official who knows the facts as well as any, and who has the extra advantage of being able to speak his mind about them. The question: Given India’s eagerness to prevent a new U.S.-Pakistani alliance in the wake of 9/11, did the U.S. make a mistake not make India rather than Pakistan our strategic ally in the war against al-Qaida? I have my own opinion-I think our unsubtle decision to force the Pakistanis into an alliance they never wanted backfired and, even worse, destroyed a growing desire among India’s elite for a more overt alignment with the U.S. (Who can blame them for being a bit more cautious about hedging bets given the U.S. record over the past decade).
But check McChrystal’s answer at about 44 minutes into the meeting — or watch the whole thing.
8 Responses to “India and Pakistan: Ten Years Later, Did America Back the Wrong Horse?”
Does anyone else see the link/clip?
It's in there as a hyperlink – but here it is naked.
You have brought up a very great details , thankyou for the post. “Beginnings are apt to be shadowy and so it is the beginnings of the great mother life, the sea.” by Rachel Carson.
My first job in a kitchen was at a private club, a friend was working there and they needed someone to work the sandwich and salad station during the summer of 1979. It was fun, I liked the interaction…the summer came and went and they asked if I wanted to stay on full time..I thought to myself at that time that I had found something that not only was I good at, but I enjoyed as well.
Shoot, so that’s that one spupseos.