With little reporting, and almost without media or governmental comment, the United States has suffered a substantial defeat in the war against radical Islam. Three weeks ago, Pakistan signed the terms of the Waziristan Accord with the northern region of its country called North Waziristan. It was, effectively, the terms of surrender by Pakistan to the Taliban and al Qaeda, which dominate North Waziristan. Pakistan has negotiated a separate peace -- the eternal danger to any wartime alliance.
With the exception of a superb article in the Weekly Standard by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and the redoubtable Bill Roggio and a few blogs, such as Flopping Aces, The Fourth Rail and The Belmont Club (apologies to some other blogs I surely have missed) there has been little comment. This column is based largely on the reporting from those sources.
The event itself was reported by the major newspapers, but the abject nature of the surrender passed with almost no comment. But surrender it was.
According to intelligence sources cited by The Fourth Rail and other sources above, the Accord includes: (1) Pakistan to abandon its garrisons in Waziristan, (2) Pakistan military to not operate in or monitor actions in the region, (3) Pakistan to turn over weapons to Waziris, (4) Taliban and al Qaeda to set up a Mujahideen council to administer the region, (5) region to be called "The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, (6) unknown but substantial amount of money paid by Pakistan to the Taliban, (7) al Qaeda and other jihadis to be allowed to stay in region, (8) 2,500 foreign fighters linked to al Qaeda and Taliban released by Pakistan from their prisons (this fact also confirmed by London's Daily Telegraph), and (9) Taliban to refrain from violence in Pakistan only; the agreement does not stipulate refraining from violence in Afghanistan.
Moreover, according to intelligence sources, Pakistan is negotiating similar terms with agencies in the Khyber, Tank, Dera Ismail Kahn and Bajaur regions of western Pakistan. If those negotiations are realized, the Taliban and al Qaeda will essentially have their own country again. With Waziristan they already have an excellent base of operations against our forces in Afghanistan.
According to an intelligence source cited in the Weekly Standard, the gains we have made in that part of the world in the past five years were "reversed in mere weeks with the loss of Waziristan and the release of 2,500 fighters."
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.