“Eerily Similar”: In 1999-2000, It was Afghanistan. Today, Pakistan

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A Hill staffer correspondent comments, in response to this:

Read your post. It strikes me that we are in an eerily similar situation to 1999 and 2000.

— The United States is fully aware of Al Qaeda training camps operating openly, with links to cells and operatives in Western Europe elsewhere;

— Our government is picking up increasing signs of communications, movements of money, and other signals indicative of planning for future attacks;

— An internal debate is occurring over whether to take action against those training camps, including military strikes; while those who are forward leaning are pushing for more aggressive risk-taking, others are cognizant of not wanting to violate sovereign territory and risking large civilian casualties;

In 1999 and 2000, we were talking about Afghanistan. Today, it is Pakistan. The Clinton Administration was savaged after 9/11 for “treating terrorism as law enforcement”, excessively taking into account the diplomatic sensitivities of other nations, and too much regard for civilian lives when we could have killed the bad guys with a missile strike. The Bushies said that would not happen on their watch.

So why is it happening again? At least the Clintonites did not have “the lessons of 9/11” as a backdrop.

He adds, “Every Pakistan expert I know is confident that, if Musharraf were overthrown or assassinated, he would be replaced by another military man with a similar pro-Western bent. The Islamicists make a lot of noise, but do not have any real power base. It does look like the Shah situation where the U.S. is left holding the bag.”

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