Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was critical of the failure on the part of Pakistan officials to take a more aggressive stance against the Taliban on the border areas of their country. He claimed there had been a 40% rise in violence along the east Afghanistan border during the first five months of this year. Gates said “it is a matter of concern, of real concerns and I think that one of the reasons that we’ve seen the increase…is more people coming across the border from the frontier areas.” He blamed the ability of Taliban forces to readily cross over into Afghanistan on “not being under any pressure from the Pakistan side of the border.” Gates believed the situation began to change when Pakistan officials initiated talks with Taliban leaders for a peaceful resolution of the violence in the frontier areas.
Gates ignored that seven years have passed since the Taliban were over thrown in Afghanistan, seven years of inept military policies most probably hampered by diverting forces to Iraq instead of completing the job in Afghanistan. Pakistan for years has been cooperating with coalition forces but the Taliban continue to grow in power. Why hasn’t the Afghanistan government been more effective? Why have seven years gone by without the emergence of an Afghan army that can deal with its own security? It is not all the fault of Pakistan, it is time for the Bush administration to own up to its own failures.