Sunday, October 23, 2011

Signs that your war is not going well

Juan Cole informs us of present Afghan leader Hamid Karzai's comments about which side Afghanistan would support in a war between the US and Pakistan. Several things.

First, that even mentioning the possibility of a US war with Pakistan is an indication of just how badly relations have deteriorated between the Americans and Pakistan.

Second, that the government of Afghanistan and its leader, essentially products of  US intentions, have threatened to turn on their patron, is an indication of how badly things have deteriorated there.

This also follows on the heels of threats from the head of Pakistan's army to meet US incursions into Pakistan's tribal areas with force. Some South Asian media is reporting that he reminded the US that Pakistan is a "nuclear power."

Third, much of this seems to follow the raid earlier this year by US special forces that killed Osama bin Laden. Everything about that from the fact that OBL was embarrassing for Pakistan, from the lack of consultation to the overt presence of that terrorist in a military town. There's the issue of countless US drone and special forces strikes against the Taliban on Pakistani territory as well as the wheels within wheels of Pakistan's Inter-services Intelligence group and its links to militants. More broadly, Pakistan is developing strategic linkages with China including large orders of Chinese military hardware.

Pakistan's leaders are not dumb.  They understand that their immediate security concerns are local and regional and rely on either on good or at least accommodating relationships with internal malcontents, neighbours, or in the case of nuclear India, something akin to a mutually assured destruction (MAD) pact.

The US war against Pashtun militants has not benefited Pakistan and indeed often humiliated that country and created serious domestic security problems. Pakistan is now firmly asking the US to leave. It's probably time they did as it would be unpleasant and bloody for all concerned, especially the civilians, should things get worse.

I wonder if the Obama people are doing a cost-benefit analysis on the bin Laden raid...they might have nailed the monster but cost themselves a major regional ally and a war.


Steve said...

I forget where I read it, but there is another element to this conflict not often discussed. The tribal boundaries and legal boundaries are like Africa were not well laid. Pakistian is very afraid of losing its Pashtun territory which as we all well know is a mother lode of wealth, an excellent reason for Canada who has no resources to stay there forever.

meadowlark said...

It's difficult to propose where the next war will be. Pakistan or Iran. Both have WMD.

The Arab country's have been at war with each other forever. Tribal wars and Muslim against Muslim. When other country's step in, it's because of OIL.

Saddam Hussein had to be stopped, from getting his hands on all of that oil. A reason had to be invented, such as the accusation that Iraq had WMD. So Iraq was invaded.

The wars in the future will be over, food and clean drinking water. In BC we are poisoning our drinking water at an alarming pace. Our valuable farmland, is being eroded by urban sprawl. The site C dam is destroying the most fertile farmland in Canada. Fracking uses an obscene amount of water, and also poisons the underground water, for hundreds of miles. In some States and Alberta, citizens can light the water from their faucets on fire.

The gigantic oil and gas corporations, thrive on war. There has to be a war going on at all times. They don't give a damn how the war is going, as long as it is going.