Friday, November 16, 2007

Wither Pakistan US Relations?

So it has come down to visible criticism and open threats. That is really bizarre.

Usually this kind of behaviour in public suggests that

1) You have lost! you have no options and making a fuss publicly is an admission of failure or
2) You have major ... major... "drama queen" tendencies.

and that... does not make sense in this context.

We put up with quite a bit more from the Pakistanis, and we *never* do this. I mean wow.. we went to war with them thrice and we never publicly said a harsh word about them. The nastiest we ever got verbally was when Vajpayee composed a poem about storms and lightning while visiting Kupwara.

I know the Americans really like looking good on TV, but if they keep this up and the Pakistanis will really not like America very much. And that won't be very good -- especially with the dollar going the way it is.

Publicly pushing the "moderate" is the surest way to ensure the Pakistani people reject the "moderate" - the studied ignorance of this fact suggests that the US wants this Benazir drama to fail spectacularly.

I like Mr. Benchpress as much as the next guy, and Mr. Honduras, he is a great guy, but man... but why would one want to put them in a position where Miyan has to ignore them?

In addition to "sacrificing" the goat, is the strategy also to piss of Miyan? or is this some strategy to discredit Mr. Benchpress and Mr. Honduras?

The word... bewildered.. does not begin to describe how this makes me feel.


At 10:34 AM, Blogger maverick said...

An entertaining oped from the NYT..

November 18, 2007
Op-Ed Contributors

Pakistan’s Collapse, Our Problem


Quotable quotes:

" And unless we had precise information about the location of all of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and materials, we could not rely on bombing or using Special Forces to destroy them. "

"The task of stabilizing a collapsed Pakistan is beyond the means of the United States and its allies. Rule-of-thumb estimates suggest that a force of more than a million troops would be required for a country of this size. Thus, if we have any hope of success, we would have to act before a complete government collapse, and we would need the cooperation of moderate Pakistani forces. "

and it goes on.

However I note rather depressingly that the authors assume that the introduction of US troops visibly on Pakistani soil would somehow leave the overall situation undisturbed. They do not seem to grasp that the mere presence of US troops on the ground would most likely turn the sparks of anti-US hostility in the general public into a raging firestorm that even 1 million US troops with all the resupply lines in the world could not hope to contain.

I also note that the 1 million troops number is .. simply the number of troops in Iraq multiplied by the ratio of the Pakistani population to the Iraqi population. There has been enough commentary to point out that the troops to population ratio was inadequate to secure Iraq - it seems this was lost on the authors of the paper.

I estimate that any occupation of Pakistan will necessarily involve hostilities with the general population - and consequently you will need atleast 2-3 million troops. In the US fielding 3 million troops implies using about a 7-10 million auxilliaries - i.e. mercenaries, contractors, support staff etc... to supply US troops with coca-cola while they relax from their airconditioned trailers after a two hour walk around Karachi. An operation of this magnitude will require a war kitty in the range of 10 Trillion USD - i.e the US national debt. With all that expenditure, the US will only be able to ensure a stalemate in the geopolitical equation.

I know the Bush govt. has added a few trillion to the US national debt post 9-11, but I really doubt that even they will be willing to add another 10 trillion.


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