Monday, November 05, 2007

Forget Iran, Pakistan is the real problem

By Libby

If you want the deep wonkish analysis on what's happening in Pakistan, you should go read all of Cernig's posts but even for those less well versed on the region, like myself, it's clear we have a big problem there. The WaPo sums it up.

The United States now finds itself with few good options and dwindling power to influence events in the nuclear-armed state, particularly because experts believe Musharraf's actions may have ensured his demise as a national leader. The Bush administration has given Pakistan $10 billion in aid since 2001 -- much of it military assistance -- and U.S. officials had warned that Congress may balk at continuing aid if emergency powers were invoked. But some analysts cautioned that if the United States is perceived as withdrawing support for Musharraf, it may increase the risk of a civil war and the shattering of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Kevin Hayden gives it wider context.

So since Bush declared ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Iraq, 3709 more troops have died in Iraq, we’ve become one of the torture nations, North Korea went nuclear, and Darfur’s genocide continues. Thousands of Burma’s monks are in jail and Turkey’s threatening to invade Iraq to go after a Kurdish terror group. Our seaports are as secure as a new Orleans levee and possession of Pakistan’s 30 to 80 nuclear warheads may be up for grabs. Bush pulled US troops out of Saudi Arabia, just as Osama demanded he do.

We've been propping up Musharraf for a long time now with our tacit support for his brutality and with billions in US aid for military purposes. Otherwise, the White House has pretty much ignored the potential for just this sort of disaster in favor of beating the war drum for bombing Iran -- a two bit country that couldn't do much damage even if the Ahmadalooney really had a couple of nukes to throw around.

Musharraf declared martial law and suspended elections based on the rising threat of terrorism on the border. I continue to think that the driving strategy behind the "Bush Doctrine" is to do the same to us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The USA is not the only power in a position to influence Pakistan, but we are the only power with a foreign relations co-depency problem, i.e., a chicken in every pot and a finger in every pie. Like everything else that we outsource to China, maybe we should outsource this:

12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Our tax dollars underwrote this debacle SC. We have a responsibilty to address it, although I'm not sure how. It seems all choices are bad and the likely result is Pakistan's nukes will end up in the hands of an anti-American government.

2:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nukes in the hands of a hostile government are not necessarily a likely outcome. There are a lot of factions to be sure, along with a lot of political noise, but the radical Islamic factions number less than 7% from what I understand. Yes, I am worried, but not alarmed, at least not yet.

4:49:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I'm not well versed in the region SC but I think anti-Americanism is not confined to the radicals.

9:04:00 PM  

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