More To Worry About Than Stress Tests

There is more afoot than just decrepit economies. Things are going badly in Pakistan and Afghanistan is slowly sucking in the Obama administration as it has so many other foolish leaders. The news is not on the front pages now but it may force its way there quickly.

Pakistan, particularly is becoming increasingly dicey. The government is weak and is losing territory to the Taliban. Despite a putative truce that gave control of the Swat Valley to the Taliban, fighting has flared up and they are moving towards the capitol of the country. The loyalties of the army are as ever with whomever appears to be the victor.

Obama is committing himself too completely at this time to a resolution. These countries have swallowed bigger empires for centuries. This time, however, the stakes are much higher. Pakistan’s nukes make a wholesale capitulation to terrorists unthinkable. This is how escalation and mission creep begin and presidential terms are cut short. Ask Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and George Bush. The bog awaits.

The President may soon have to make a critical decision. Go all in, extend the military exercise to Pakistan or walk away and hope that money and arms can carry the day for the locals. Short term he should probably opt for the latter. It won’t destroy his Presidency. Should he choose that option he risks setting the stage for a disaster of epic proportions.

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