Key elements within the US, urged on by the Israelis, have been out to get Pakistan for some time already. After Iraq it should now be clear that Pakistan is also on the US target list, in addition to North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
The Washington Post has always had close ties to both the Israeli 'moderates' and the CIA. Consider this editorial more than a warning, it's already a shot across the political bow.
Washington Post Editorial:
Out of Pakistan
Tuesday, February 25, 2003; Page A22
TO THE LIST of threats coinciding with the crisis in Iraq add the possibility that U.S. troops in Afghanistan will face an offensive this spring from revived forces of the Taliban and al Qaeda based in Pakistan. Already, in the past few weeks, American units deployed in the southeastern border provinces have been engaged in the heaviest fighting in nearly a year, and attempted ambushes of patrols and rocket attacks on bases have steadily increased. Senior officials of the Afghan government say former Taliban and al Qaeda militants have joined with those of another Islamic extremist, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and are amassing funds, weapons and communications for a concerted campaign once the worst of winter is over. The staging grounds are two Pakistani provinces populated by the same Pashtun ethnic group that dominates southern Afghanistan. Even more disturbing, several reports say that the regrouping has been supported by elements of Pakistan's military intelligence agency, which helped to create the Taliban and backed it until the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The enemy concentrations may not be able to seriously challenge U.S. forces. But they could have the effect of driving international aid agencies and even Afghan government officials out of the southern region and further delaying any effective reconstruction programs in the area. They also confirm the steady unraveling of commitments by Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to support the United States in the war on terrorism. Just over a year ago, Gen. Musharraf was vowing to rid his country of violent Islamic extremists; now he stands by as Afghan and Arab radicals, likely including Osama bin Laden, establish bases on Pakistani soil from which to attack American troops. Meanwhile, Pakistani militant leaders who were jailed a year ago operate freely again. Gen. Musharraf is back to the dangerous game of challenging Indian rule in disputed Kashmir through tolerance of Pakistani-based terrorism. Moreover, some intelligence officers in his own army may have returned to their previous strategy of using the Taliban to extend Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, at the expense of Afghanistan's pro-Western government.
The Bush administration's reaction to this mounting danger has been to play it down, at least in public. During a visit to Washington several weeks ago, Gen. Musharraf's foreign minister, Khursheed Kasuri, blithely suggested that the United States simply withdraw its troops from rural bases in the southeast to the cities -- a tactic that presumably would allow Taliban-al Qaeda forces to move in without opposition. The aggressive sweeps recently carried out by U.S. and allied soldiers, backed in some cases by heavy bombers, show that U.S. commanders have no intention of such a surrender. But responding to enemy attacks in Afghanistan probably will not be enough. Sooner or later the administration must face the fact that Pakistan has become the base for terrorists who seek to undo everything that has happened since Sept. 11 in Afghanistan. Gen. Musharraf and his intelligence services must get the clear message that such staging grounds cannot be tolerated. If he is unwilling to act against them, the Bush administration must reconsider whether its attenuated alliance with the general is worth the growing cost.