The Long View: The Taliban Express


The Long War Journal is pleased to introduce The Long View, a monthly cartoon that tackles the issues of the war. The Long View is illustrated by Chris Muir.

This month’s cartoon looks at the contentious issue of NATO supplies flowing through Pakistan to Afghanistan. The supply lines were shut down for seven months following a clash between US and Pakistani troops on the border; they reopened in July only after a US apology and the release of $1.1 billion to the Pakistani military. Shortly thereafter, the supply lines were shut down again due to security reasons, and then again reopened. Weeks later, supplies have just begun to trickle through to NATO troops in Afghanistan, after further delays blamed on Pakistani bureaucracy and lack of security. Meanwhile the Taliban and allied terror groups move across the border with ease to fight NATO forces.

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  • Charu says:

    Nice, but it seems to suppose that the Pakistanis even make an attempt to stop the train – or is it only the NATO truck that is stopped at the crossing? The fact is that the engine driver is from the ISI, and the Pakistanis provide the engine and bogies, load it up to the brim with weapons, and are busy laying out the tracks.
    I fail to understand the Pakistani claim of sovereignty. If you can’t control your territory from which terrorists are attacking neighboring states, then you have no sovereignty! This is winning in poker only because everyone else is afraid to call your bluff.

  • foxmuldar says:

    Im betting the Paki’s want more money from us tax payers. And as long as Obama is in control, they will probably get more. i would rather see all troops pulled out of that cesspool and brought home. Why continue to fight in a country where the population hate you and your culture. Look at whats taking place in Iraq. Since the US pulled out, theres more killing then when Sadamn was in control.

  • David says:

    Even more appalling from the point of view of Pakistan’s sensitivity to sovereignty is their complete lack of respect for anyone else’s, especially Afghanistan’s. They claim their need for “strategic depth” gives them the right to entirely own and control Afghanistan’s government. But entry into Pakistan, whether by US troops or Afghan troops, even for the purpose of stopping insurgents from attacking into Afghani territory, killing Afghans or US troops, is FAR too much for them. To say nothing of their sponsorship for groups attacking Europe, India and the US, violations of sovereignty each and every one. Were the Mumbai attack, 9/11, 3/11 in Spain, the 7/7 attacks in Britain, not violations of other people’s sovereignty, and far more egregious ones? In reality, they were more than that, they were acts of war.

  • Nic says:

    The article referenced in a link states “A US official said that as part of the deal Washington will release about $1.1 billion to the Pakistani military from a US “coalition support fund” designed to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of counter-insurgency operations. ” Source: . “U.S. goods imports from Pakistan totaled $3.8 billion in 2011” The consumer in the United States can reduce the flow of money to Pakistan by boycotting Pakistani goods. If the label on a textile says “Made in Pakistan” then do not buy the product. Revenge is always sweeter than anger.

  • Bob says:

    The United States again is stupidly giving money to Pakistan in return for promises of going after the Taliban in the north and east of their country.
    Obviously, the Paki’s have no intention of doing this.
    Instead of offering them money, the US should cut off all military and civilian aid (every penny) and instead offer them rewards for either killing or turning over Taliban to the the US. A million for these guys, another million for those guys, and pretty soon Pakistan can turn its military into a profit center for the entire economy.
    Offering money for capture or kill of bad guys is a long tradition in this country. Wanted: dead or alive. In this case, we should rely on this tradition instead of trying to bribe the Paki’s. Bribery is rampant in Pakistan. They know how to play that game much better than we do.

  • David says:

    I am pretty sure that most people on this site agree with me that Pakistan is really the enemy, here. If so, how can we effectively fight them while our supply lines are under their control?
    What I am getting with the uncontroversial statement above is that we should probably stop complaining about how Pakistan isn’t treating us right, is holding up our supplies, etc. That’s what enemies do. We need to get our troops out of the situation where their supplies can be squeezed by the enemy, i.e. out of Afghanistan,because it is completely untenable — Pakistan will choke off our supplies if we ever start winning.
    It is painful to pull out of Afghanistan because we are able to do some damage to the Taliban and Al Qaeda there, and leaving will give them greater freedom of action. But Pakistan’s intent is to bleed us dry there, and that is what they are doing. There is no point in fighting the Taliban, or even Al Qaeda, when the puppeteer pulling the strings is our real target, not the puppets.

  • SD says:

    God Bless Nic, Bob, and David. They have got it right.
    I only wish they were running for President in Nov.

  • Villiger says:

    “I am pretty sure that most people on this site agree with me that Pakistan is really the enemy, here.”
    Pakistan (read the Pak Army/ISI) is also the real enemy to the Balochs, Pashtuns, and Sindhis, i.e. everyone except the hardened sunni Punjabis.
    Pakistan is severely debilitated by its own internal conflicts and because it is an artificial entity must sooner or later unravel.
    Balochistan holds the key. Liberate it and watch the dominos fall. A controlled implosion is very feasible. It will be very painful for a lot of people but in the long-run, the Pak Army needs to be decimated and put back into its Punjabi cage anyway. Pashtunistan is also essential to cage in the Taliban. The Pashtun people can then decide their fate.
    The US has been playing the Pakistanis chosen game of chess. Change the game altogether and play dominos instead.
    The US is always fighting the wrong war with an outdated bulldozer war machine. Not the technology but Old World brute-force strategies, while its diplomatic skills utterly lack innovation and Special Forces are under-utilised.
    The US is singularly responsible for having built up the Punjabi/Pak military machine over the years and funded it to the hilt. Now quit moaning and groaning. Do something about it. Extend yourself. If drones are your only game in town, if you’re waiting for the Pak Army to sort out the badlands, if begging the Pakis for right of way and paying off billions to the self-same Paki army mafia are your solutions, you haven’t learnt a fig; you’re doomed.
    On the other hand if you want to practice benign neglect, thats fine too, stop the money. Pakistan will break up anyway.

  • Gitsum says:

    Roll out the B-52’s and bomb Pakistan

  • Charu says:

    Absolutely correct, Villiger! A proactive action would be to support the Baloch in their bid for independence. At the minimum, it would keep the ISI occupied and reduce the resources available to the Haqqanis. And if it succeeds, it could open up sea access to Afghanistan that does not depend on the Punjabi Junkers. Benign neglect, too, would likely result in the same thing, albeit over a longer period. But the current policy of funding the Punjabi terrorist machine makes no sense, and is the very definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. Selig Harrison has some excellent sources, and so there must be some people in the government who are looking at breaking out of the asylum.

  • Veteran says:

    Let our money show those in Kenya that we really do want to end this even In kismayo. Next Iran.

  • jz says:

    Uncle Sam of old would have carved out Balochistan, made them independent, smashed the Pak army, established a huge naval base and not given a damn who in the world didn’t like it. The statements above are spot on…

  • EYESONYOU says:

    If the US just gives more money to the Pakistani and Afghan government, maybe, just maybe they’re gonna start liking them more and start cooperating! (sarcasm) Some US General once said, “Money is ammunition.” American lives are lost due to non-existent leadership!

  • Pappu says:

    david, gitsum, villager or whoever it is. You all seem to accept the fact that Pakistan is going to make you bleed as long as you remain occupation forces. Why not leave Afghan soil and let its people decide their fate. Save you tax payers money for some other contingency or better spend it on your healthcare….

  • Ali Aleem says:

    So ll you Indian rats commenting here with made up foreign names, come out with your true identitites atleast before giving all these ‘expert’ opinions and go and fight your own wars in Indian Occupied Kashmir, Nagaland, west Bengal, Khalistan (Punjab) etc etc first before giving ideas of starting new ones….when will you people learn to live in peace in the world. Pakistan never chose this war…it was broought on it by the USSR and the USA and now India with its covert and illegal actions and secret agencies operating in Baluchistan and AFghan border but let me tell you, sooner or later all these pathetic war mongering activities will be brought to an end by peace loving Pakistanis and especially us Baluchis who love Pakistan like our mother. Baluchistan will never chose to leave our motherland of Pakistan and we sons of our soild will thwart any Indian or other tries to do so.
    Finally as far as the 9/11, 7/7 etc etc that you have put on Pakistan is cncerned, just to refresh everyones memory, not a single Pakistani was involved in it or caught supporting it. Also, the Mumbai attacks were carried out by the help of Indians themselves who are heading sepratist movements from India. I will give the west another suggestion…stop thinking that India is a milk drinking baby and realize it for what it really is. It was India that used to me USSR’s mistress while Pakistan was firmly standing behind and with the west to thwart any communist overtake of Afghanistan. It was the Pakistani Army fighting alongside the taliban who were created by ronald regan and the saudis to make sure America beats the Soviets invasion of afghanistan and does not get access to the warm waters of the middle east. It was India that has been creating gross human rights violations within its borders and outside whether in Tamil nadu, killing thousands of Muslims and Sikhs in Indian Occupied Kashmir and Khalistan, Nagaland and Assaam and also medling in other countries affais such as Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. If the west doesnt realize the larger game plan of what these 2 faced Indians are upto, friends in front of you and enemies with a sinister game plan behind their back, you will be in for a huge surprise. Pakistan has been the number one contributor to the UN for its peace keeping forces accross the planet and whenever in need. Chose your frineds wisely America…if your forefathers chose Pakistan as your friends and not India who used to be and still is a communist supporter with a sham democracy where only a handful of brahmins can every hope to win or lead the country, it is for a reason.


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