The Pakistani Perplex
Published on: October 8, 2011
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  • Kenny

    Please, Mr. Mead. Who are you kidding when you write: “One is sorry to say that things are so bad that one hopes Pakistanis have no illusions about the consequences if Pakistani nukes end up in terrorist hands.”

    Just what consequences are you thinking about? If the U.S. ever gave the Pakistanis what they deserved for lose nuclear bombs, you’d be the first rationalizing how evil we are.

    And let’s go back a step. Why shouldn’t the U.S. now disinvest Pakistan of its nuclear weapons? Believe it or not, with a determined effort, this could be done easier than many think.

  • Stephen

    Presumably, one of the knock-on consequences of a decision to bring in the surrounding countries, India and Russia, and to invoke a strategy of containment, would be to finally confront Pakistan’s Saudi sugar-daddies? That would be amusing.

  • Douglas

    I’m not sure what the Russians bring to the table, but the Indians and Chinese are key. We should be working closely with India to create a stable, non-jihadist Afghanistan; that is obviously in India’s interest. China may have residual ties to Pakistan, but it, too, has a strong national interest in discouraging Islamic radicalism. Why we need Pakistan at all at this point – aside from logistics – is not obvious.

  • carvaka

    i am an indian , and despite that (or may be because of that ) i just don’t understand the rationale behind pakistan’s policies.

    here , in india, one of the popular opinions is “it is the pakistani army”. the argument goes like this – pakistani army likes to have and retain enormous political and economic power . and a sustained enmity with india helps to justify prioritization of the army above everything else. but now a days i have my doubts whether the explanation is such.

    let’s consider the case afghanistan for instance. for most part of the last 65 years , afghanistan always have an india friendly government; excluding few years of taliban reign. despite a number of indo-pak wars during the time and high tensions, i failed to see when did india try to use afghanistan for the pincer movement , in either the covert or overt way.

    a destabilised , radical pakistan with nukes will be india’s worst nightmare. why would india like to put effort in such a direction?

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    I fear that the ISI and it’s Parkistan government handlers will do something so stupid, so egregiously Anti-American at some point that the US military will have no legitimate option but an armed, fighting withdrawal from Afghanistan OVERLAND through the length of Pakistan…with the cooperation of the port of Karachi. Whether the Government of Pakistan survives…or Pakistan is reunited with India as new provincial states is the only question.

  • Buck Smith

    The smart move for US right now is to raid ISI headquarters at 3 in the morning. Take every computer, thumb drive, usb hard drive in sight. That is information warfare. We should the same at Iranian intelligence headquarters

  • Riki Tiki Tavi

    The US has pulled its punches and engaged in doublespeak on Pakistan for decades. Why? Because Pakistan is to South Asia what Taiwan is to Southeast Asia–the west’s hedge against the big kahunas of each region. It goes back to pre-partition, when the United Kingdom asked Nehru and Jinnah whether they would allow UK military bases in their respective future countries. Nehru said no, Jinnah predictably said yes ( But, while democratic Taiwan is happy to grow its economy under the US umbrella and not engage in brinkmanship with China, an Islamist Pakistan dreams of being India’s strategic rival (even though India’s population and economy are 8x and 10x respectively). Pakistan knows it cannot achieve this dream on its own, so always has tried to yoke US might to its vainglorious, irredentist, and increasingly Islamist dreams. Of course, when convenient, the US has also stroked Pakistan’s vainglorious, irredentist, and, yes, even Islamist dreams.

    Chamberlain understood quite well that taking on Hitler would put the British Empire at risk, just as the US understands that taking on Pakistan may leave it without a hedge in South Asia. Which is why I expect the US will continue to mollycoddle Pakistan until a terror strike postmarked Pakistan occurs on the US homeland. One might suppose that a rational Pakistan would be working doubly hard to prevent such an occurrence, to forestall the US policy realignment that will inevitably ensue. But I suspect Pakistan is already too deep in the Islamist camp. How else to explain Bin Laden’s safe-house in Abbottabad?

    Pakistan today is a “bad” US puppet. At what price will Pakistan agree to become a “good” US puppet? How does this price compare to the US jettisoning its puppet altogether, and instead doubling down with India?

  • willis

    Strangely enough, the description you give to the energy situation in Pakistan sounds surprisingly like the same outcome being promoted by Mr. Obama. He is restricting our access to energy resources here and reducing our access to programs already in place, such as the mining of coal. One goal he stated in his campaign for office was the increase in the cost of energy and has achieved it. You made the statement that “President Asif Zardari has done little as the energy crisis has grown, dithering over its strategy even as it cooks up schemes for new power plants to enrich its cronies. In the process, the government has squandered billions of dollars.” The same can be said word for word about Mr. Obama with the sole addition of the word “green” between new and power.

  • avidus

    You write: “One is sorry to say that things are so bad that one hopes Pakistanis have no illusions about the consequences if Pakistani nukes end up in terrorist hands.”

    I would reverse that and suggest I hope that our current administration has no illusions about the consequences if Pakistani nukes end up in terrorist hands.

    Why should Pakistan have any fear of consequences when they have seen Syria, Iran and themselves kill American soldiers directly and indirectly for years with no consequences? Indeed, we have continually paid Pakistan while they did so.

    To extrapolate no consequences should we lose a city to one of their nukes may be seen as ludicrous but I would suggest it is not without reason.

    Imagine the hair shirted wailing of how the fault indeed lay with the former administration for their failed Pakistani relationship that fundamentally poisoned this administrations efforts. How to respond in kind would be slaughtering innocent civilians en mass against the Geneva Convention. The moral preening about how we’re better than them so we should hold our response of nuclear fire. The constant voices wailing of how more death will not solve anything nor address the root causes that caused this tragedy. And finally the constant and insidious calls that due to our occupations of Muslim lands we had this coming.

    I worry not for Pakistan should one of their nukes become lose and remove an American city – I worry for us.

  • Richard Hill

    Why no mention of the Kashmir problems? Kashmir helps justify Pakistan’s military. Is India the big winner out of all of this?

  • Jack Okie

    Any “miss me yet” billboards of Musharraf going up?

  • Major Scarlet

    i’m not sure but i think you think that president obama actually cares about american national security. he doesn’t. what you think is him realizing something is really him trying to threaten someone to let them know he is the alpha dog. not them. regardless.. he’s still on their side. obama would see an attack on america as an attack on him.. not americans. love your blog but be careful not to mirror image.

  • Cutter

    Time to cut a deal with China, India and a few of the tribes. Disabling attacks on all nuclear sites. Divide up the country into ineffectual pieces. Wish them luck. Some peoples do not deserve a country.

  • IgotBupkis

    >>> Push this guy and he steps back, they are saying. He talks tough but backs down.

    The problem is, they are correct. Just one more reason to Hope For Change on 1-20-13 — even if he suddenly did a complete about face in his visible behavior pattern, it is still the case that others will try him just to see if his resolve remains. And I don’t see that happening.

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