Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Are We Paying Pakistan?

Now that the US military has removed Osama bin Laden the spotlight shines on the government of Pakistan.  Given the circumstances of bin Laden’s demise one must ask the age old question: ” what did they know and when did they know it?”
By now we have all heard the reports surrounding the acquisition and termination of the world’s most wanted man.  For years we were told that bin laden was hiding out in caves deep within the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan; moving daily from place to place to avoid detection and capture.  We know now that for the past five years he was living in the relative comfort of a million dollar walled compound in the well to do city of Abottabad.  We have learned that Abbottabad is a particularly curious place for the most sought after man in the world to seek refuge because Abottabad is the home of the Pakistan military school, the equivalent of our West Point.  The city is teeming with active and retired military personnel.  To quote Jon Stewart:  “bin Laden wasn’t hiding in plain sight…he was chillin’ in plain sight.”  Naturally the Obama administration wants to know how bin Laden could live undetected in this military enclave.
The Pakistani government has responded with outrage and indignation.  They have condemned the US for conducting a military operation in Pakistani sovereign territory without previously notifying their government.  And their shorts are firmly bunched over any suggestion that they might have aided and abetted bin Laden.
“Me think he doth protest too much.” 
Pakistan is one of the most anti-American countries in the world.  Osama bin Laden lived there for five to six years in the middle of a military garrison.  For that to happen he had to have some sort of outside support.  To believe that the Pakistani government and/or its’ intelligence community had no knowledge of his presence strains credulity.  They are either complicit in providing him assistance or incompetent in their abilities.
In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” the President stated that Pakistan had been an important partner in the war on terror.  He said: “in fact we have killed more terrorists on Pakistani soil than any other place in the world.”
 Which begs the question…why?
Why have we managed to kill more terrorists in Pakistan than any other place in the world?  Is it because we have the complete co-operation of the Pakistani government?  Or is it because if you are a terrorist seeking refuge then Pakistan is your destination of choice?  Have we eliminated more terrorists in Pakistan because of the efforts of the Pakistani intelligence service? Or is it because there are more terrorists per capita in Pakistan than any other country on the planet? 
The truth is Pakistan is the place known throughout the terrorist community where the government is sympathetic, safety can be bought and annominity a way of life?
The US currently pays Pakistan $1.5 billion in aid per year.  Over the past decade we have doled out over $20 billion in borrowed money to buy Pakistan’s assistance in fighting terror.  The Pakistan government has flatly stated that we will have to “do more” to repair the damage caused by invading their territory and questioning their loyalty.  Perhaps if we up the ante they will be better able to locate the bad guys who are living right under their noses.
The real $64,000 question is this: why is the US paying the Pakistani government to help in the apprehension of internationally wanted terrorists when those same terrorists are paying the Pakistanis to avoid capture?






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