Quetta, teeming refugee camps, wide open border, this is Border Region Pakistan. Love it or hate it, Pakistan will be the new headline for years to come. It is the linchpin in the Afghan war. It is the key to the struggle with the Taliban, forces that have been in and out of Pakistan for the last 30 years since the United States waged a proxy war with the Soviets through them in the 1970's.
Here we are, some 30 years after supporting the Taliban, fighting a war in Afghanistan and along the border of Pakistan, trying to make progress in a region that has a long history of resistance. So, the reason for the post is to simply outline the three main areas that need attention if we plan on making any progress in this conflict. Here they are:
1) Quetta. This is the U.S.'s and Pakistans biggest problem city. It's poor, it's dangerous, it's filled with Taliban, Al-Qaida, and tons of other criminals alike. But it is also home to millions of others whom we cannot distinguish from each other. Go get em cowboys.
2)Teeming Refugee Camps: After the Soviet Afghan War, Pakistan was left to deal with Afghani Refugee Camps filled with people who fled the counrty to escape the violence. Over the last 30 years, these camps have become home for many. Children have grown up there, adults have made it home, and Taliban have infiltrated these camps like butter on a hot biscuit. Many of the camps are only a few miles from the border, and easy safe haven for fleeing Taliban and Al-Qaida .
3)Wide Open Border: I'm not even sure this needs explanation. The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is worse than swiss cheese, at least the cheese tastes good on bread. Neither side is doing even a decent job at policing the few border checkpoints that do exist. Fix this first and foremost.
So that's the quick and dirty on Pakistan Border regions.
Think 17,000 troops will solve the problem? I don't. But I guess it's a start.
UPDATE: Obama administration has ordered 4000 additional support elements to deploy to Afghanistan. Many are billitted to train the Afghan Army and police force.
I still think it will take more than just an additional 21,000.