Monday, September 25, 2006


Pakistan and the War on Terror

Pakistan with its huge population and nuclear weapons is probably the most important center in the conflict better known as the War on Terror. Right now Pakistan is more or less in the Pro-American camp. This might not last. John Robb has some sobering comments on this topic.

[W]hile the Taliban/al Qaeda strategy rests on a broad base of support, the US/NATO strategy rests on the survival of one man: Pervez Musharraf (our strong man).

The key question is, how secure is his rule? The answer is unfortunately, not very.

After the loss of a reported 3,000 troops, Pakistan has ceded the tribal areas of Waziristan (population: 800,000) to pro-Taliban local rule. Weapons will be returned, outposts will be abandoned, and compensation will be paid.

Pakistan has cut a ceasefire with the Taliban's Mullah Omar. It also prevents US/NATO troops from crossing the border to pursue Taliban forces.

2,500 Taliban and al Qaeda militants have been released from Pakistani jails.
All signs that Musharraf is in retreat. He is likely to seek a further detente with the Taliban since it may be the only way to remain in power. What he sees across the border in Afganistan is likely to push him further into the Taliban camp.

NATO, as the leader of the counter-insurgency in Afghanistan (unlike the USSR before it) will not mount a serious effort. Signs of stress are already evident. NATO will quickly fold under the mounting pressure (which may spell, for all intents and purposes, the end of that treaty organization).

Unlike the opposition mounted by Pakistan against the USSR in Afghanistan, Pakistan's ISI is not in control of these forces.

The Taliban and al Qaeda is already importing the open source methods developed in Iraq to central Asia. These tactics and organizational approaches will work better in Pakistan, due to its level of development, societal complexity and urbanization, than in Afghanistan.

If the Taliban succeed in driving NATO out of Afganistan, then Musharraf will almost certainly cave into most or all of their demands. That is if he survives, since he would become the insurgencies main target. If he falls, the world will becomee a much scarier place.


Quote: Irony with a Baseball Bat

"Our tendency to concentrate power in the hands of a few men deeply concerns me. We can be conquered by bombs or subversion; but we can also be conquered by neglect - by ignoring the Constitution and disregarding the principles of limited government. Our defenses against the accumulation of unlimited power in Washington are in poorer shape, I fear, than our defenses against the aggressive designs of Moscow. Like so many other nations before us, we may succumb through internal weakness rather than fall before a foreign foe,"

-Barry Goldwater

For those of you unfamilar with 60's America politics, Barry Goldwater was the vanguard of the modern conservative movement. He served as a prototype for Reagan and broke new ground with is book conscience of a conservative.

The irony is that he lead to the liberarian side of the republican party, as such he would, if he was active today, be branded as a liberal. This thought amuses me to no end.


Nazrallah's Political Judo

I am somewhat suspicious of Hezbollah leader Hasan Nazrallah, that beening said, you got to respect a well played piece of politics. Here is an excerpt from his recent speech. This is a lesson in political hudo, take your opponent's momentum and throw them into a shark pit.

. . . before speaking about Lebanon, we as Lebanese should see Iraq as a model. Had the war in Lebanon succeeded, the Americans would have applied this model in Lebanon. They wanted to apply this model in Lebanon. In the war, we the Lebanese offered martyrs from the Resistance, the army, the security forces, the civil defence, the Red Cross, the news media, the establishments, the different parties, and all our beloved people. But how many were martyrs? Never mind, were they 1,000 or 1,200 martyrs? In Iraq, some 10,000 to 15,000 people are killed every month in a chaotic war that is administered, financed, and incited by the Americans and the Mosad. The resistance in Lebanon protected Lebanon from civil war. [Cheers]
Some say that the resistance in Lebanon pushes for civil war. Never! Had Israel won, Lebanon would have been pushed to civil war, and you would have heard voices calling for federalism, cantons, and division. The Israeli language would have become current anew.
Iraq is a model, which we must always ponder. Our message to our people in Iraq must always be: Patience, calm, unity, wisdom, communication, avoid sedition, and don't wager on the enemy . . .



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