So Pakistan is threatening to take its toys and go home if the US doesn’t give it more money — specifically, to pull its troops from the Afghan border. Two thoughts on this: first, the militants are going after the Pakistani government as well, so Pakistan is cutting its own throat on this. But I can still see them pulling back – “head in sand” is the go-to posture of the Pakistani military unless India is involved, in which case it shifts to rabid chest pounding.
Second thought: no wonder the Russians resorted to land mines. They’re awful things. I spent a couple weeks in Croatia back in the late ’90s. People were still finding mines the hard way. It was a very strange feeling, not being able to step off a sidewalk for fear of getting blown up, or worrying that your car might accidently drive across a piece of shoulder with a mine buried in it. Afghanistan is littered with mines as well, though the minefields I encountered were well marked. People have all sorts of silly ideas about mines based on Hollywood movies, and most are terribly wrong. Mines do NOT blow up when you take your foot off them, they blow up when pressure is put upon them. Maps of mine fields? Forget it. First, who would bother to map each mine? Second, the ground shifts (especially if there’s water around) and the mines move with them. In short, mines are horrible, evil things, designed to maim rather than kill, and they hurt people long after the conflict ends.
But the Taliban are horrible, evil things too, and the border with Pakistan is a mountainous mess. Still, we’ll never mine it. And so… a bit of minefield humor: