The recent closing of the Afghanistan border with Pakistan illustrates a key feature of the war against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces. There is almost a surreal aspect to the war in Afghanistan. In theory, Pakistan is our “ally,” but at the same time it harbors enemies of the US and NATO forces. It is an open secret that Taliban soldiers simply walk across the border to resume fighting against American troops while Pakistan border guards look the other way. It is an open secret that Taliban soldiers have rest and recreation opportunities in Pakistan. It is an open secret the Taliban readily received supplies from our “allies” while in Pakistan. Last week, Taliban forces burned over twenty oil tankers while being opposed by a few guards who simply lacked capability of halting such a mass attack. On the flip side, the American drone attacks go on non-stop much to the chagrin of our “allies.”
One frequently gets the feeling there is need for a score card which lays out exactly who is on which side. On one side of the border, there are soldiers fighting against the Taliban. On the other side of the border there are those who are friends of the Taliban. Perhaps, one day both sides of the border will get together. Until that day, the border will be an impediment to victory.