Democrats have been demanding a withdrawal from Iraq for the past two years, and Barack Obama knows exactly what he’ll do with the troops once they withdraw. He’ll send them on an invasion of Pakistan:
In a strikingly bold speech about terrorism scheduled for this morning, Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will call not only for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but a redeployment of troops into Afghanistan and even Pakistan — with or without the permission of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
“I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges,” Obama will say, according to speech excerpts provided to ABC News by his campaign, “but let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.” …
In many ways, the speech is counterintuitive; Obama, one of the more liberal candidates in the race, is proposing a geopolitical posture that is more aggressive than that of President Bush. It comes at a time in Obama’s campaign when the freshman senator is drawing more financial support from more voters than any other candidate, though he has yet to vault from his second-place position in the polls. One of the reasons for that is that the Democratic front-runner, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, is seen as more experienced and in some ways stronger, a perspective Obama wishes to change.
One would hope that this would mark the end of Barack Obama’s credibility as a presidential candidate. Given the other options available in the campaign, it probably won’t. Too bad — because of all the war plans floated by the Democrats in this primary campaign, this is easily the stupidest of all, and that includes Joe Biden’s “Three Iraqs” policy.
One of the reasons that Democrats insist that the war in Iraq was a mistake was because it unnecessarily radicalized Iraqis into jihadists. What does Obama think an invasion of Pakistan will do to its population? And if the former was a mistake, consider that Pakistan has a population of over 160 million people. How does Obama think they will react to a military invasion by a putative ally?
Those are just the political considerations. If we march across the border of a sovereign nation without their permission, that’s an act of overt war. Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and would be likely to use them in a last extreme. They could certainly shoot tactical nukes at our Navy ships that would have to support an invasion force. They may also be inclined to use them against our new ally, India, in the case of an invasion.
Not to demean Obama’s vast military expertise, either, but has he looked at a map of Pakistan? It’s shaped like a wedge, with the base on the Arabian Sea and the Waziristan region almost the farthest point from the water. How does Obama propose to create lines of communication for an invasion? Right now we rely on Pakistan for overflight to Afghanistan to supply our troops for the fight against the Taliban there. General Obama would eliminate those lines of communication overnight, leaving the invasion force critically isolated — unless he thinks we can start resupplying Afghanistan through Iran.
Only an idiot would invade Pakistan from the north, if at all. Any war against Pakistan would have to seize the Arabian Sea ports first, and then roll through the center of Pakistan — where all of the formerly moderate Pakistanis would have lived — to get to a mountainous region that Pakistan itself has hesitated to engage.
And did we mention that Pakistan has a potential mobilization of 39 million troops?
Frankly, the only idea worse than invading Iran is invading Pakistan. One might expect a serious presidential candidate to avoid looking like an idiot while provoking an ally that still helps more than he hurts in that region. Obama seems determined to prove himself unserious.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has some reaction to Obama’s saber-rattling.
UPDATE II and BUMP: To those insisting that this is nothing different than what Bush and Rumsfeld proposed — using covert teams to infiltrate across the border — let me quote directly from the news report that the Obama campaign chose to highlight on its website:
The Illinois senator warned Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he must do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters under an Obama presidency, or Pakistan will risk a U.S. troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid.
That’s definitely not the same as what Rumsfeld considered and rejected in 2005. It’s a declaration of war, pure and simple.