The frequency of US drone attacks [in Pakistan] has stepped up considerably since last month’s NATO conference in Chicago.
…Bill Roggio, an analyst who runs the Long War Journal website, said the recent attacks underlined “just how bad Pakistan and US relations are at the moment”.
“These last eight strikes all occurred after the NATO summit,” he said. “The strikes were halted in an attempt to get the Pakistanis on board to reopen the supply lines but when they didn’t happen they turned the programme back on.”
…Pakistan closed its borders to NATO supply vehicles in November after US forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in a border incident.
Despite several false hopes that Islamabad would relent, including in the run-up to last month’s NATO conference, Pakistan continues to demand an apology for the killing of its soldiers, an end to all drone attacks and a sharp increase in the tariff paid by NATO for moving cargo across Pakistani territory as conditions for reopening them.
Glenn Greenwald points out the very ugly tactics now being employed, including secondary missile strikes on rescuers trying to help victims, and the killing of mourners attending funerals. Yet our government insists that “the terrorists” are the other guys.
Without going into an analysis of the very complex situation in the region, suffice it to conclude: As long as the USA stays in Afghanistan, our relations with Pakistan are going to be rocky. It’s important to be realistic about what, if anything, there is to gain by continuing to fight what is already the longest war in U.S. history — and what we have to lose. From an American foreign policy standpoint, Pakistan is a far more important country than Afghanistan. If their status goes from “frenemy” to enemy, the consequences could be significant.