There is a gigantic elephant in the room that not many people seem to want to talk about. In fact, it’s a herd of elephants. The Biden Administration, many media and American allies are doing a really good job of ignoring these elephants. How everyone is gracefully dancing around the large quantities of elephant droppings is also no small feat. The fact that no one is calling out Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan over the years — and the last few months — is alarming and appalling.

Even as Pakistan has adamantly denied it, it has been no secret that it has been playing both sides in Afghanistan. Each administration across three presidencies has ignored that so Pakistan keeps getting away with it. As the Pakistani public relations machine continues its flimsy attempt at self-defense, it has become even more clear that Pakistan is no longer fooling anyone. Nevertheless, the issue at the heart of all this is that even now, no one is doing anything about it.


Pakistan Is a Perpetrator Not an Innocent Bystander

Throughout the many years of conflict in Afghanistan, just about everyone in the military knew that Pakistan was the issue. What that means is that even considering the Taliban and al-Qaeda, Pakistan always was the key and the solution to the issue. It was never going to be possible to control an insurgency and a terrorist group if the insurgents and terrorists could always slip away across the Pakistani border beyond the reach of the U.S. military.

Taliban fighters
Taliban fighters in the Afghan countryside. (NurPhoto)

This always offered a significant strategic advantage to Anti-Coalition Forces (ACF). In spite of the significant casualties and losses sustained by the Taliban and other ACF, they played the long game. They simply had to wait. Taliban fighters did not have to win. They only had to not lose. This is a well-known fact. However, in addition to any inherent challenge in fighting an insurgency, the U.S. government made it worse by allowing Pakistan to provide safe havens for these extremist forces giving them the perfect place to sit and wait.

For years, Pakistan has had its own share of struggles with terrorist groups and an extremist jihad. The major problem arises from Pakistan wanting to pick and choose which extremist organization it aligns with. It wants it both to support extremist groups that further its causes, but also wants to stop those that do not. Regular citizens in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan all suffer from Pakistan’s regional game. As Hillary Clinton stated when she was secretary of state in 2011, “You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors.”


Pakistan Is a Direct Supporter of Terrorist Groups

It’s far worse than that. The common thread between the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS-K is Pakistan. Any argument made that the Taliban had cut ties with al-Qaeda is wrong. While the common bond between these groups is Pakistan, the lynchpin holding them together is the Haqqani Network. The Haqqani Network has long been funded and supported by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).