How To Defeat al-Qaeda in Pakistan
What is certain is that the US must, either directly or through current or new allies, engage the al-Qaeda enemy inside Pakistan. We are much more effective and secure as a nation when our will determines the time, place and nature of combat than when holding course while the enemy builds, plots and attacks. No matter the scale of our engagement, the US must find a course which replaces al-Qaeda's confidence in their security with concern for the protection of their assets, personnel and leaders. Their concerns must be those of survival as they are now in Iraq. We must engage and challenge the local populations to rebut the ideological views of al-Qaeda, while simultaneously permitting them (the local populations) to maintain or increase their independence, religious and cultural footing and their opportunities for economic growth.
Non-Negotiable Requirement - Action
No single option above solves the ominous riddle of Pakistan, but rather some measure of combination. But whatever combination proves the winning calculus – including the possibility of other options not articulated here – the ultimate answer to defeating al-Qaeda within Pakistan is action. Be it through Pakistani forces, US and Coalition forces and/or that of as yet undeveloped allies, we must take decisive and aggressive steps to defeat the enemy within Pakistan's tribal regions. Our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq should serve as guides, and with appropriate adaption, we should retake the initiative and begin the hunt anew.
While much of the news coverage of our operations this year in Iraq has focused on the 'surge' with respect to the number of troops in country – the real story is the surge in initiative and focus. We have sought the enemy, displaced him from his encampments, constrained his avenues of egress and engaged him at the time and place of our selection – now, wherever he is.
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