Daniel Larison argues that it is reckless to target terrorists inside Pakistan.
His basic premise is that the Pakistani state cannot absorb repeated violations of its sovereignty (in the form of U.S. drone attacks and ground incursions) and not collapse. And, further, that the collapse of Pakistan in order of magnitude is more dangerous to the U.S. than another 9/11-style massacre on U.S. soil.
So here's a question for Larison: what do we do?
Do we simply target al-Qaeda elements in Pakistan and leave the Taliban out of it (if such precision is even possible)? Do we revert to the 2003-2007 model of funneling money into Pakistan and hoping for the best?
Larison is surely right to warn of the dangers in pushing Pakistan to the breaking point. Yet Pakistan is harboring people with a demonstrated capacity to kill Americans on American soil. At what point does solicitousness for the regime in Pakistan cede to the priority of protecting Americans?