Commentary: Aiding Pakistan is a must for U.S.

This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.

Fact: the United States cannot afford to let Pakistan collapse. This is not Afghanistan, which has a long history of dysfunction. And it's not Iraq, which is important, but for different reasons. This is a place with a nuclear weapons arsenal.

As such, the news out of Pakistan's north, the now well-known Swat Valley, is disturbing. But the words coming out of Washington, D.C. are encouraging. When President Barack Obama met with President Asif Ali Zardari this week, there was a commitment to fighting al-Qaida and its allies, meaning the Taliban.

In Congress, Obama's team is asking for about $8 billion in military and non-military aid for Pakistan. Zardari insists that with such funding, Pakistan can handle the insurgency that now rages.

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