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Oct 14, 2009 11:24 am


THE CASE FOR STAYING IN AFGHANISTAN



It comes in form of a letter from Reuel Gerecht to Jefferey Goldberg who, like me, has misgivings.

Now, bin Ladin and az-Zawahiri would probably prefer to have the central front again in the Arab world. But in Afghanistan and Pakistan they have wars that their side might win. Now, or in the not too distant future, it may be impossible operationally and philosophically to tell the difference between Arab al-Qa'ida and Afghan and Pakistani radical groups, which have as a loadstar the Pashtun militants who comprise the neo-Taliban on both sides of the border. The foot-soldiers of this cause are not as worldly as their Arab forerunners; they do not have any noteworthy thinkers drawing large crowds.

But they do offer the promise of great success: within Pakistan and India are highly-educated Muslims who just might join the cause. Arab al-Qa'ida never enlisted first-rate--not even second-rate--scientific talent. Pakistan and India, with vastly better educational establishments than the Arab world, might just provide what modern holy warriors have so far lacked: the requisite skill to deploy weapons of mass destruction against the United States.

Read it all. I would merely like to add that Islamism thrived in the subcontinent for centuries. Pakistan was created by modernizers. Islamists stayed in India. Today, the Pakistani/Indian rivalry is making the efforts to pacify Afghanistan even tougher.



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