Putting blame on Pakistan won't? help the war on terror.

Blame Pakistan first for all evil on this planet. Increase the number of troops. More bombs, better arms, more control of borders. Profile all Muslims. More of the same has not worked. It has only exacerbated the security situation in Western Asia. Can someone turn the light on?
There is a dearth of clear vision and thinking in the $80 Billion think tank industry that seems to copy and paste the Neocon agenda and pawn it off as policy.
Bombs and more troops is not the answer.
What is needed is a new Marshall Plan for Pakistan, creation of massive economic opportunities and elimination of subsidies to cotton farmers in the US. The elimination of the cotton subsidy would allow Pakistani farmers to export about $12 Billion of cotton and cotton products. This would also provide additional employment to the youth who may have too much time on their hands.
America should build more roads, more schools and more hospitals in the NWFP, FATA, Wazirisitan and Pakistan. 100 new hospitals in the NWFP would evaporate any anti-Americanism. 100 new roads would eviscerate bigotry and illiteracy. 1000 new schools would eliminate any anti-Western animosity. Better seeds and increasing per hecter yields would put more money in the pockets of the farmers, who could then send their children to better schools. Pakistan need 50 new American Universities and 1000 internet ready libraries. She needs 50 million internet capable $100 laptops. An investment in Pakistan would reduce and eliminate the expenditure on GWOT (Global War on Terror).
Finally a word of sanity in the Canadian press.
Putting blame on Pakistan won’t help war on terror, March 05, 2008, Tariq Amin-Khan
The Harper government, with the support of the Liberals, appears set to extend Canadian troop deployment in Afghanistan beyond 2009. The question is: What are Canadian troops doing in Afghanistan, and by extending the mission will Canada be able to assist the U.S. and NATO in their objective to win the war on terror and eliminate Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the militant Islamists? A tall order to be sure, but is it achievable? The short answer to the question is no.
If the mission objectives are unattainable, then why are Canadian troops in Afghanistan? The situation gets murkier as we examine the rhetoric of security analysts who pin the blame squarely on Pakistan. They claim that the issue is not the insurgency in Afghanistan; the problem really is with Pakistan.
But it appears that the problem is neither in Afghanistan nor in Pakistan. Rather, there is a direct relationship between foreign military presence in Afghanistan and the rise of militant Islam. Furthermore, the absence of a democratic alternative gives militant Islam a free hand to operate in both of these states.
The foreign militaries occupying Afghanistan take the view that militants are on the run as NATO intensifies its military campaigns against them. The reality is otherwise.
Even a cursory look at the developments in Afghanistan, Iraq and even Pakistan (until recently) shows that militant Islamists have gained in strength, and have become bolder since the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The Taliban in Afghanistan have not been contained but have actually become stronger.
Militant Islam is a political movement and its aim is to capture state power. The U.S. played a significant role in the 1970s and 1980s to empower Islamists. The Taliban in Afghanistan took advantage of this nurturing environment to hone their political and military skills. They have had a taste of holding onto state power and are eager to return.
It is now becoming clearer that militant Islam cannot be defeated militarily. Every time overwhelming force has been used, NATO, Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani casualties have increased and Taliban, Iraqi and Pakistani militant Islamists have withdrawn and regrouped to relaunch their attacks another day. This has been the pattern.
All this raises the possibility that the war on terror is not a war to be won at all.
By all accounts, the Bush administration has crafted this war as the new permanent war, a “long war,” along the lines of forcing a stalemate as in the Cold War. This permanent war fuels not only the military-industrial complex, but now also the security-industrial complex all combined with the synergy that exists between Big Oil, the military and Western economies.
This idea of forcing a stalemate is also echoed by professor Janice Gross Stein in the recent book The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar. Her view, expressed in terms of Canada’s military strategy in Afghanistan, is that based on the U.S. Cold War policy of containment, the aim at best would be to attain a stalemate in the war on terror.
It is not possible here to discuss in any detail the fallacy of applying the logic of the Cold War in relation to militant Islam and the war on terror. But it can be said that this strategy of forcing a stalemate is ill-conceived against adversaries that are mobile and geographically untethered. These adversaries, in the heat of battle, can simply melt into the populace as NATO commanders are left to mull over their battle plans.
Blaming Pakistan for the war on terror going badly for NATO, therefore, does not help; it merely compounds the problem. The sobering fact is that Pakistan has very little to do with the war on terror being won or lost. But alienating Pakistan is an option that NATO takes at its own peril.
As to the support that militants in northwest Pakistan have provided the Taliban on the Afghan side, there is a need to understand the ground realities of the area. Southern Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan is a contiguous area inhabited by the same ethnic group, the Pashtuns, who have had historical kinship ties. The border, the Durand Line, is an arbitrary divide between Pakistan and Afghanistan established by British colonial rulers, and it has never been possible to effectively police it.
Consequently, the border has always been porous and an attack by an occupying force against Pashtuns on one side is seen as an attack against the other side as well. However, when you overlay religious ideology onto this ethnic solidarity, it becomes a potent combination that produces a resilient guerrilla force. A force that is able to take on the most sophisticated militaries within an inhospitable terrain against which standing armies and modern weaponry have not been very effective.
This reality of guerrilla warfare worked wonders for the U.S. when its Islamist proxies in Pakistan and Afghanistan were waging the jihad against “godless communism.” Ironically, now that the shoe is on the other foot, Pakistan is being blamed for the war on terror going badly for Canada, the U.S. and NATO.
The only way militant Islam can be contained, nay challenged, is for a democratic alternative to take root in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, it would be naive to assume that even if this shift comes about, the transition will be simple and painless because the democratic alternative will be resisted. But democracy will eventually deal with the militants.
In this context, the outcome of the Feb. 18 elections in Pakistan gives pause for hope. The outcome reinforces the position that the political and democratic alternative is the best antidote to check the rise of militant Islam. Just look at the rout the Islamist parties have suffered in these elections in the Northwest Frontier Province. A province where the Islamists had formed the government after the 2002 elections, and where people resoundingly said no to intimidation and suicide bombings.
This is the message that Stephen Harper also needs to hear. Even with additional troops, Canada will end up fighting for more stalemates. But what will this no-win situation mean in human terms - in lives lost for an objective that is neither clear nor within the mission’s grasp.
Tariq Amin-Khan is an assistant professor in the department of politics and public administration at Ryerson University.

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