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Plans for Direct U.S. Intervention in Pakistan*

Plans for Direct U.S. Intervention in Pakistan*

*by William Pfaff*

*Date* 2007/11/21 11:30:00


Paris, November 20, 2007 -- The New York Times reports that the Bush
government’s frustration in its effort to control events in Pakistan now
has led it to debate direct intervention in that country.

Washington’s desire to strengthen the standing of General Pervez
Musharraf in international -- and also Congressional -- opinion prompted
its recent arrangement for former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s return
from exile, and its promotion of a coalition between the two Pakistani
leaders that might obtain democratic electoral confirmation.

Appealing as this plan will have seemed in Washington, it has been
thwarted by the general. The Bush decision then taken was that Musharraf
is no longer an asset to the United States but an obstacle to its
efforts to defeat the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan by attacking the
movement’s roots in Pakistan -- and possibly, one unlikely day, to
capture Osama bin Laden, assumed to be in the same inaccessible
territories, controlled by Pathan tribes, where the Taliban movement
originated.

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