During their now-infamous phone call on July 23, Afghanistan’s then-President Ashraf Ghani told Old Joe Biden: “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.” The Pakistani “dimension” was never taken care of, despite the fact that Pakistan has now become, as Richard Fernandez noted in mid-August, “a Chinese client state.” According to a Politico report Thursday, Biden’s handlers, as clueless and incompetent as ever, are now “quietly pressing Pakistan to cooperate on fighting terrorist groups such as ISIS-K and Al Qaeda in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.”
As absurd as it is for Biden’s handlers to continue to regard Pakistan as an ally, they aren’t even close to being the first American officials to be played for fools by the sharpies in Islamabad. As far back as 2008, the New York Times reported that during a battle with the Taliban near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, “ the Americans started calling in airstrikes on the Pakistanis after the latter started shooting at the Americans.” A villager who saw it all recounted: “When the Americans started bombing the Taliban, the [Pakistani] Frontier Corps started shooting at the Americans. They were trying to help the Taliban. And then the American planes bombed the Pakistani post.”
The bombing caused friction between the two countries, as Pakistan was supposed to be our ally in the War on Terror, but it didn’t start acting like an ally after that, either. The Pakistani government received billions to fight jihad terror and continued to do so even after the 2008 Times story revealed that many Pakistani officials were “assuring the United States that they were vigorously repressing Islamic militants — and in some cases actually doing so — while simultaneously tolerating and assisting the same militants.”
The most notorious example of this double game was the fact that Osama bin Laden lived peacefully for years in Abbottabad down the street from Pakistan’s leading military academy, Kakul Military Academy. American officials even during the Obama years were so distrustful of Pakistan that they didn’t brief them on the mission to kill bin Laden, to the enduring rage of Pakistani officials.
Despite all that and more, however, the Politico report states that in response to Biden’s handlers’ desire that it help fight ISIS-K and al-Qaeda, Pakistani authorities have “hinted that Islamabad deserves more public recognition of its role in helping people now fleeing Afghanistan, even as it has downplayed fears of what Taliban rule of the country could mean.”
This public recognition may not be forthcoming. Politico quotes Daniel Markey, whom it describes as a “South Asia specialist who served at the State Department from 2003 to 2007,” saying: “It’s clear that the Biden administration from the top levels seems to have pretty deep reservations about Pakistan, born of years of experience, and is not willing to either give Pakistan a pass or kudos for anything that Pakistan might like.”
However, if Biden’s handlers really have such “deep reservations” about Pakistan, why are they asking it for any help at all? If Ghani’s warning about Pakistan aiding the Taliban and Pakistan’s dismal track record since 9/11 weren’t enough, there is the word of Pakistan interior minister Sheikh Rashid, who admitted in a televised interview Wednesday “We are custodian of Taliban leaders. We have taken care of them for long. They got shelter, education and home in Pakistan. We have done everything for them.”
That ought to be enough to show even the terminally blinkered minions of Blinken that Pakistan is not on our side and cannot be trusted to fight ISIS-K, or al-Qaeda, or anyone except America and our allies. The Taliban and ISIS-K may be at odds, although this friction is likely wildly overstated by Western analysts inclined to wishful thinking, but there is every sign that al-Qaeda is back in business in Afghanistan, with top operative Amin al Haq recently returning to the country.
One of the greatest failings of the American response to the 9/11 attacks was the failure to reevaluate and reconfigure our global alliances in light of the new realities. Pakistan may have been a useful ally during the Cold War, but the Cold War is over. The fact that Biden’s handlers still regard Pakistan as a U.S. ally once again shows the world how absurdly out of touch they are, as if we needed fresh reminders. It is not unexpected that an America-Last administration would play ball with such a false and faithless putative ally. If we ever get another America-First administration, it should put an end to this charade for good.