Thursday, April 23, 2009

Big trouble in Pakistan

We’ve got big trouble in Pakistan and there’s very little we can do about it.
The Pakistani Taliban are making significant territorial advances in the wake of a peace deal that basically turned over big swaths of territory in the Swat Valley and elsewhere to the black turbans.

This is a huge problem for the Obama Administration, which has linked Afghanistan and Pakistan strategically.

In the immediate sense, it means an ever-larger sanctuary for Taliban fighters engaged in Afghanistan.

The 20th Century history of insurgency and guerrilla warfare from Rhodesia to Vietnam shows that insurgencies that have sanctuaries are almost impossible to defeat, no matter how successful counterinsurgency forces are in the area of operations.

In the larger sense, Pakistan is well on its way to becoming a failed state — nuclear-armed failed state. For years the real nightmare scenario of Islamic terrorism has been the possibility of fanatics getting their hands on the Pakistani nuclear arsenal.

That raises the specter for which we went to war in Iraq: the possibility of a state regime handing over weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. It must also be making India very nervous...

Pakistan is near economic ruin and the massive aid packages planned by the Obama administration may just be poured down a rat hole. We can’t afford to prop them up, but we can’t allow them to fall down.

All this may seem very far from Sisters and very distant from the daily concerns of keeping afloat in a dire economy. But we’ve got community members going into harm’s way in Afghanistan. They will be directly affected by what goes down in Pakistan.
And if Pakistan itself goes down, we will be living in a much more dangerous, much more unstable world. If Southern Asia goes up in flames, don’t think it won’t have an effect on us.

There’s nothing you or I can do about Pakistan, obviously. But it makes sense to get ready for the aftershocks as it totters toward a fall.

Jim Cornelius, Editor

1 comment:

  1. The Taliban is very much a creation of the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) and has long enjoyed good relations within all facets of the Government of Pakistan. There should be no surprise on anyone's part that what is taking place now has long been in the works in terms of the country's internal situation, and if the government changes hands either openly or otherwise we (the U.S.) were well warned in advance.

    It is understood that the U.S. will not allow Pakistan's nuclear weapons to remain in the possession of any Pakistani government should conditions merit direct intervention via the removal of these weapons.

    There are many, many aspects of this matter that are open for discussion. However, we did take our focus off of Afghanistan and divert it to Iraq and now we are seeing the hubris and stupidity of that national security priority decision.

    As usual, it will be our troops and their families who will bear the brunt of any immediate impact should Pakistan falter and fall in lieu of yet another "Holy War" in this region of the world.