When you see stories like this about plans to conduct military operations in Pakistan in the fall, you have to wonder why it’s on the front page of a major newpaper. Bruce Cleaver has stolen my thunder by pointing out that this may be a deliberately leak to frighten various people and factions in the area. This is one of the big advantages of having initiative and credibility. It’s not even critical that we follow through on every proposed plan, as long as we do some of them. In fact, one could argue that it’s better to be a bit inconsistent to increase the uncertainty on the other side.
Overall, however, it’s a good sign that this kind of thing can be seriously discussed. That’s an enormous change from the situation a few years ago and is another side benefit of invading Iraq.