Why We Need Pakistan's Help

by Michael Crowley | December 23, 2009

This APĀ story reminds us that it's going to be tough to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan so long as they have a safe haven across the border in Pakistan:

SHAKTOI, Pakistan (AP) -- A top Pakistani Taliban commander says he sent thousands of fighters to neighboring Afghanistan to rebuff incoming U.S. troops, a claim that comes as a Pakistani army offensive is believed to have pushed many of his men to flee their main redoubt.

Waliur Rehman told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Monday night that the Pakistani Taliban remain committed to battling the army in South Waziristan tribal region, but they are essentially waging a guerrilla war.

Rehman is a deputy to Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, and the man in charge of the group's operations in South Waziristan.

"Since (President Barack) Obama is also sending additional forces to Afghanistan, we sent thousands of our men there to fight NATO and American forces," Rehman said. The Afghan "Taliban needed our help at this stage, and we are helping them."

The story quotes a U.S. military spokesman casting doubt on the claim. But it's hardly unbelievable.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/why-we-need-pakistans-help