Yahoo! News Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that he would possibly send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists, an attempt to show strength when his chief rival has described his foreign policy skills as naive.
This is a fantastic way to show you are not naive. Publicly announce an intention to invade an ally with nuclear weapons. That is not naive. You would have to smarten up a lot to make it to naive.The Illinois senator warned Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he must do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters under an Obama presidency, or Pakistan will risk a U.S. troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid.
"Let me make this clear," Obama said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaida leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
AJ Strata blogged Sen Obama’s attempt at showing his manliness illustrates once again his inexperience. it seems Sen Obama is just fine with attacking an ALLY of the US: Pakistan. It is not OK to attack our enemies in Afghanistan or Iraq, but it is OK to invade an ally. Yep, that stinks of inexperience all right. America is just itching for another war. I am all for taking out a KNOW al-Qaeda center. But to ‘hunt down’ al-Qaeda means long term invasion of a soveriegn nation. Hillary won’t do anything unless invited and Obama will go in and look around. Bush and Cheney wisely keep quiet and non-committal to any one option.
JammieWearingFool blogged One has to figure in order to burnish their foreign policy credentials, by the time the primaries actually roll around, the Democrats will probably be threatening to nuke every country on the planet.
Texcas Rainmaker blogged While continuing to bash the war in Iraq, Barack Obama is now giving a preview into what an Obama administration would look like in terms of foreign policy. And it’s not pretty. First, he’d meet unconditionally with Cuba, North Korea and Iran. Then the anti-war candidate would invade Pakistan.
Moe Lane blogged So. Now that we've gone over the geography, let's sum up. We have significant troop strength in Afghanistan. Senator Obama thinks that we should have even more troops there. He wants them, in fact, so that he can invade Pakistan. Pakistan is the country that we are currently depending on for logistical support, because all the other choices are worse. The end result? If Pakistan withdraws that support, we're left with the following options:
- Make a deal with another country bordering Afghanistan, all of which are run by distasteful regimes who will want very distasteful concessions;
- Bug out of Afghanistan itself;
- Write off the troops that are in Afghanistan;
- Invade Pakistan.
Tom Maguire blogged As to the policy itself - I have no doubt that when Rumsfeld's decision to cancel the "invasion of Pakistan" was reported in the Times a few weeks back the reflexive Bush-bashers bashed this (some flavor at Memeorandum). However... even if one thinks that we should have risked the collapse of the Musharraf government over this raid, I can't imagine that people further believe we should have announced out intentions in advance, as Obama is doing here - couldn't we at least preserve some implausible deniability, or wait until we have a few high-value captives to parade before we admit to violating the Pakistani border?
CQ blogged One would hope that this would mark the end of Barack Obama's credibility as a presidential candidate. Given the other options available in the campaign, it probably won't. Too bad -- because of all the war plans floated by the Democrats in this primary campaign, this is easily the stupidest of all, and that includes Joe Biden's "Three Iraqs" policy.
One of the reasons that Democrats insist that the war in Iraq was a mistake was because it unnecessarily radicalized Iraqis into jihadists. What does Obama think an invasion of Pakistan will do to its population? And if the former was a mistake, consider that Pakistan has a population of over 160 million people. How does Obama think they will react to a military invasion by a putative ally?
Those are just the political considerations. If we march across the border of a sovereign nation without their permission, that's an act of overt war. Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and would be likely to use them in a last extreme. They could certainly shoot tactical nukes at our Navy ships that would have to support an invasion force. They may also be inclined to use them against our new ally, India, in the case of an invasion.
Not to demean Obama's vast military expertise, either, but has he looked at a map of Pakistan? It's shaped like a wedge, with the base on the Arabian Sea and the Waziristan region almost the farthest point from the water. How does Obama propose to create lines of communication for an invasion? Right now we rely on Pakistan for overflight to Afghanistan to supply our troops for the fight against the Taliban there. General Obama would eliminate those lines of communication overnight, leaving the invasion force critically isolated -- unless he thinks we can start resupplying Afghanistan through Iran.
Only an idiot would invade Pakistan from the north, if at all. Any war against Pakistan would have to seize the Arabian Sea ports first, and then roll through the center of Pakistan -- where all of the formerly moderate Pakistanis would have lived -- to get to a mountainous region that Pakistan itself has hesitated to engage.
And did we mention that Pakistan has a potential mobilization of 39 million troops?
Frankly, the only idea worse than invading Iran is invading Pakistan. One might expect a serious presidential candidate to avoid looking like an idiot while provoking an ally that still helps more than he hurts in that region. Obama seems determined to prove himself unserious.
Sister Toldja blogged Will be interesting to see how this plays with the hardcore anti-war base. Will cries of “chickenhawk” soon follow Senator Obama wherever he goes? It’s August. I give it another month or two before the mediots start to turn on the O-man - just like they did with Howard Dean. Obama’s seeming invincibility armor is starting to crack.
Michelle Malkin blogged ooks like the laughingstock Democrat presidential candidates have been eating their Wheaties. Yesterday, it was John Edwards flexing his imaginary muscles at Saudi Arabia. Today, it’s Barack Obama shaking his fist at Pakistan. ABC News reports on the first-term senator’s latest, greatest “bold” idea–invading Pakistan unilaterally. Diplomacy, international law, and the U.N. be damned! Behold, Obama the Cowboy.
Gaius blogged Let's see in a week or so we have had Obama say that stopping genocide was no reason to stay in Iraq, that he would personally meet with heads of rogue states and that he would invade a nuclear-armed ally. I think we may just have witnessed the implosion of Obamania. The darling of many of the nutrootz is willing to ignite a regional war against an ally. Good lord.
Paul blogged I'm sure the left wing of the party will love that one. The same guy who criticisted Bush for going into Iraq with an international coalition to enforce UN sanctions will now invade Pakistan unilaterally? The irony here is he said this to prove he wasn't "irresponsible and naive." Hilliary must be laughing in her Cheerios this morning.