Huffpost Entertainment
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Bill Scher Headshot

Why Does Pakistan Have A Veto Over Our National Security?

Posted: Updated:

Here’s a crazy idea for how the UK and the US could respond to the July 7 terror attack: get Osama bin Laden.

Conveniently, our CIA chief says he has “an excellent idea where he is.” CNN, the BBC and others reported that his full remarks suggested he thinks Osama is in Pakistan.

What’s stopping us? Pakistan, our “ally,” doesn’t allow US troops to enter its country in pursuit of terrorists. As the NY Times reported back in Dec.:

Pakistan does not permit American military and intelligence forces in Afghanistan to cross the border to go after militants. This prohibition on cross-border "hot pursuit" makes it relatively easy for Taliban and Qaeda fighters to initiate attacks on American bases in Afghanistan, and then quickly escape to the safety of Pakistan. American soldiers have complained about being fired on from inside Pakistan by foreign militants while Pakistani border guards sat and watched.

As a result of the restrictions, American military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan are no longer really hunting for Mr. bin Laden, an intelligence official said.

In the 2004 campaign, George Bush said, “The use of troops to defend America must never be subject to a veto by countries like France.” His convention’s keynote speaker, Zell Miller, said, “Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide.”

Well, Bush has decided for some time that Pakistan should have a veto over our national security. Pakistan decides where our troops can go to defend America.

Unfortunately, getting Osama three years too late won’t have the same impact that getting him right after 9/11 would have.

Last year, the CIA reported that the cancer of Al Qaeda has metastasized, so demolishing the Al Qaeda organization at this point wouldn’t change much:

The steady spread of Usama bin Ladin's anti-US sentiment – [through] the wider Sunni extremist movement and through the broad dissemination of al-Qa’ida's destructive expertise - ensures that a serious threat will remain for the foreseeable future[,] with or without al-Qa’ida in the picture.

We should fully understand since the terrorist threat has grown much larger than Osama, capturing or killing him does not solve all our problems. But he’s still unfinished business. Bush needs to be asked the question: why do you continue to give Pakistan veto power over our national security?