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July 10, 2008

Pakiwhat? Afghaninhuh?
Posted by Patrick Barry

Adam is right to point to John McCain's interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- it's full of obtuse, disjointed, and otherwise impenetrable commentary, precisely the fuzziness that we've come to expect from his campaign.  However, his remarks on Pakistan and Afghanistan are especially frightening for the depth of confusion on display.  Just take a look at this quote on the subject of Karzai's relations with Pakistan's government:

"I think if there is some good news, I think that there is a glimmer of improving relationship between Karzai and the Pakistanis."

Just what "glimmer" is McCain talking about??  Maybe he's referring to President Karzai's remarks last month, which threatened military action in Pakistan if cross-border attacks persisted?  Or maybe McCain is talking about Afghanistan's allegations that Pakistan's ISI was involved in a recent assassination attempt on Karzai?  Maybe in McCain's world you could call that a silver-lining, but in reality-land I'd call it something else.

Seriously, there have been NUMEROUS reports from press, think-tank and Pentagon sources lamenting a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and worsening relations between their respective governments.  It isn't as if the coverage isn't there.  It is.  Yet despite the general agreement that the situation is bad, getting worse, and demands greater U.S. attention, John McCain can't even grasp the most basic developments.  Looking at the way that reality continues to hem his supposed national security expertise really makes one wonder how he got the reputation in the first place.      

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