Pakistan began moving thousands of troops from the Afghan border toward India, officials and witnesses said Friday, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors and possibly undermining the U.S.-backed campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban.Here is the double-cr@p.
The country also announced that it was canceling all military leave in the aftermath of last month's terror attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.
India has blamed Pakistani militants for the terrifying three-day siege; Pakistan has demanded that India back this up with better evidence.
Pakistan's latest moves were seen as a warning that it would retaliate if India launches air or missile strikes against militant targets on Pakistani soil - rather than as an indication that a fourth war was imminent between the two countries.
The United States has been trying to ease the burgeoning crisis while also pressing Pakistan to crack down on militants Washington says were likely responsible for the Mumbai attack. The siege left 164 people dead after gunmen targeted 10 sites including two five-star hotels and a Jewish center.
On Friday, U.S. intelligence and military officials were trying to determine if the reported troop movements were true and - if so - what Pakistan's intent might be.
Any significant troop movement would likely dash President-elect Barack Obama's strategy of having Pakistan concentrate on the threat emanating from the lawless tribal regions close to Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders are believed hiding out.That is exactly what the terrorists in Bombay wanted. Draw the PAK forces from their neck in NWFP and SWAT. Make no mistake, less PAK pressure there means more USA, UK and alliance personnel killed and injured.
Obama said nothing publicly about the Pakistan situation Friday.
"This is a serious blow to the war on terror in the sense that the whole focus is now shifting toward the eastern border," said Talat Masood, a former general and military analyst. "It will give more leeway to the militants and increased space to operate."
PAK has an almost pathological hate and fear of her sister India. Also make no mistake that we have established the international template for striking terrorists wherever they are - especially if the host nation isn't doing enough to go after them itself.
Want to know why President-elect Obama picked a Centrist/Center-Right national security team? Because he knows _________ and _________ - and he knows it is no time for playing around with cute ideas that can't survive outside the hothouse that is academia. And we'll leave that at that.