Airstrikes A Sign of Obama’s Willingness To Engage

While this may or may not portend good things for the future, there is a substantial debate about Afghanistan and the thin government in Pakistan, but President Obama made it clear he is willing and able to strike at enemies where ever they may be hiding.

From WaPo”

Two remote U.S. missile strikes that killed at least 20 people at suspected terrorist hideouts in northwestern Pakistan yesterday offered the first tangible sign of President Obama’s commitment to sustained military pressure on the terrorist groups there, even though Pakistanis broadly oppose such unilateral U.S. actions.

The shaky Pakistani government of Asif Ali Zardari has expressed hopes for warm relations with Obama, but members of Obama’s new national security team have already telegraphed their intention to make firmer demands of Islamabad than the Bush administration, and to back up those demands with a threatened curtailment of the plentiful military aid that has been at the heart of U.S.-Pakistani ties for the past three decades

Requiring more of Pakistan may be problematic depending on what Pakistan can tangibly bring to the game. The obvious change would be for Pakistan to remove the majority of their troops from the Indian border and redeploy them to the tribel areas. The second gesture would be to revoke the warlord agreements in the tribal areas and Waziristan that essentially give the Taliban and al-Qaeda elements a safe hiding and training area.

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