It would appear as though Pakistan has now conclusively replaced Afghanistan as the engine room of Islamic fundamentalism. The northern tribal areas of Pakistan have now become totally dominated by the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They are now free to use these areas to recruit and train terrorists which is undermining the work of our military in Afghanistan. President Asif Ali Zardari, has claimed that no terrorist training camps actually exist in these tribal areas. How the hell would he know, he never leaves his compound. The Americans give him around $1billion a year in military aid, including F-16 fighter jets, and still he seems utterly incapable of even containing the spread of Taliban rule, never mind defeating them.
The sad truth is that the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism is just as much of a threat in Islamabad as the Taliban are in the north. Elements of the police and security services are clearly sympathetic to the Taliban and are present at all levels of Mr. Zardari’s government, undermining it at every turn.
Due to this failure/unwillingness of the Pakistani government to get a grip of the situation we should be repeating to them what Bush made clear in 2001, “you’re either with us or you’re against us”. Barack Hussein Obama however seems to be taking a very different approach. In the wake of his YouTube video to Iran it seems that he is willing to negotiate with the Taliban. This would involve distinguishing between Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the hope that doing a deal with the Taliban would isolate Al Qaeda. This is inherently naive for three reasons:
1. The Taliban are not politically motivated like the IRA but are motivated by their ideology which calls for the destruction of the west. Even if a deal could be reached it would be temporary unless the Taliban elders and spiritual leaders became more moderate, which is impossible to imagine.
2. The alliance the Taliban have with Al Qaeda is highly beneficial for them. Fundamentalists around the world see Osama bin Laden as a holy warrior, and the Taliban’s association with his cause brings them finance and fighters from around the world, even the UK.
3. The US has nothing to negotiate with so how can there be a negotiation. The operational infrastructure of the Taliban remains very much intact and despite the best efforts of Britain and America their influence is actually expanding. Consequently how can the Taliban be expected to give up violence, when that violence has brought them so much success.
You can not appease the Taliban, because their only goal is to destroy the west. They hate our freedom and our way of life, they are fanatics who have no regard for human life and will stop at nothing to impose a global caliphate. Pakistan needs our support. The government is weak and unable to act. They are loosing their next generation to extremists who are brain washing kids as young as 8 in madrassas to become terrorist fighters and suicide bombers.
The Pakistan army supported by allied forces need to drive the Taliban out of the tribal areas at whatever cost. In synergy to this NATO must deploy comprehensively along the border with Afghanistan to cut off their supply and escape routes. Taliban forces will inevitably pass through the net, such is the nature of counter insurgency warfare, but at least the free-flowing supplies which the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have enjoyed will be severely limited.
We know that our ideals are inherently superior to the evil views held by the Taliban, but as Margaret Thatcher once said, “ideals by themselves are not enough, only military superiority, and the will to use it.” We must be resolute in their destruction, as George W. Bush said after 9/11 “we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”
By Sam Pryde