Four CH-47 Chinooks can carry dozens of people on stretchers, or haul enormous loads of equipment or supplies. Two smaller UH-60 Black Hawks serve as workhorse transport helicopters.
The helicopters were supposed to arrive Tuesday but were delayed by bad weather. The Pentagon says they will fly when the weather clears. The helicopters will be flown by U.S. crews at the discretion of the Pakistani military. Pakistan publicly resists any U.S. military presence inside the country, but has accepted humanitarian help before.
Nothing leaves a bad taste in my mouth like a two faced ally. They say the U. S. is an ally. They say they are helping us find the bad guys. They supply our enemies and provide safe passage across borders for same. Sure, it may not be the same people doing those things. Pakistan may not be the best oiled social machine on the planet. They are a strong, proud, noble people. Their government sucks. They let bad men use them for their own profit.
Rejecting the U.S. intelligence chief’s accusations that Pakistan is harboring al-Qaida and Taliban leaders, Islamabad said Friday it remains committed to fighting international terrorism and extremism.
Then you have this last week
On the likely implications (or non-implications) for U.S. policy towards Pakistan, go back to 2009, and this piece in the National Interest by Bruce Riedel who conducted the first review of Afghan strategy for President Barack Obama. Having assessed all the evidence, including well-known American misgivings about the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, he concluded that Washington had no option but to stay the course in trying to build a long-term partnership with Pakistan.
American policy for the last 60 years, wrote Riedel, had oscillated wildly between love and hate. “What the U.S.-Pakistan relationship needs is constancy and consistency. We need to recognize that change in Pakistan will come when we engage reliably with the Pakistani people, support the democratic process and address Pakistan’s legitimate security concerns. Candor needs to be the hallmark of an enduring commitment to civilian rule in Pakistan.
The danger of course – and that is one reason why the WikiLeaks uproar cannot be dismissed as old news – is that allegations will stoke already strong anti-American feeling in Pakistan, making it all the harder for Washington to persuade Pakistan to do more. As Chris quotes Pakistani political analyst Hasan-Askari Rizvi as saying: “The Islamic parties and the extreme political right in Pakistan already view the U.S. as a major threat to Pakistan. They don’t view the Taliban as a threat. Now these reports have given them a lot of ammunition.”
I'm being unfair. I know this. Honestly, it is difficult to tell if Pakistan is playing three sides against the middle or answering to far too many masters. Still, I do not trust the government to do what the say. I do not trust the tribes to care what happens beyond their back hards. The one thing I trust is the future will not bring any derisive answers.