Wild In Waziristan

Welcome, NLT readers, and thanks to Mr. K. for the link.

Tony Blankley picks up this morning on a truly alarming report in the Weekly Standard suggesting that by giving the Waziristan region of Pakistan over to the Taliban, Pres. Musharraf has undone the entire war on terror in one fell swoop. Read the articles and see what you think, but both Bush (see 3rd Q.) and Karzai (see last Q) are taking the Musharraf line about the agreement being not with the Taliban but with "tribal leaders." I don't think it is remotely possible that Musharraf could simply fool Bush & Karzai, so there must be some reason they are taking this position.

Maybe Blankley and the Standard are right and it's a sign of doom, but I have a gut feeling the true meaning of the withdrawal of the Paki army from the region is that no one will be around to complain when the US moves in on Osama. You'll see in the Bush/Musharraf transcript link that their remarks come precisely in the context of a question about whether the US could now go into Pakistan to get Osama --and both Bush and Musharraf are cagey about their answer. I read this as Musharraf saying: Never will we allow the US to violate our territorial integrity! (Not that we'll have any troops around to notice.)

UPDATE: It's not just pie-in-the-sky on my part. al-Q thinks it's weak on the Afghan/Pakistan border.

UPDATE 2: This morning's WaTi (APreport) seems to confirm the gloomy view, reporting "Taliban strikes on U.S. troops triple after truce," but halfway through the piece you find there's another explanation:
The U.S. officer acknowledged that the truce, championed by Gen. Musharraf, is not the only factor behind Taliban attacks in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika, Khost and Paktia provinces. The Army's 10th Mountain Division has been pressing its own offensive, Operation Mountain Fury, sparking firefights and bombings that otherwise might not have occurred, the officer said.
RTWT --supposedly Mullah Omar himself approves the "deal" --which gives the Taliban safe haven in the short run, but confirms to me we have a pretty good idea where he & Osama are for the long run. In similar not-as-gloomy-as-you-think reporting, coverage of a "tense" White House dinner with Musharraf and Karzai starts hopeless and ends on a note of accord.

Here's WaPo coverage of the pact and its effect. And AP is reporting that a leaked (MI6, not us for once) document says Pakistan's intelligence service supports al-Qaeda and calls on Musharraf to disband it. Umm, not too sure what's secret about that, but it does bolster the notion that it's a net gain for us if these guys are not around the Afghan/Paki border anymore.