Monday, September 22, 2008

Does the US threaten the stability of Pakistan?

This NY Times editorial echoes the urgent concerns which I related in a previous post. The military actions of the Bush Administration may now pose to the stability of Pakistan and the long-term prospects for a Western victory against Islamic terrorism.

Yet the NY Times fails to identify the underlying strategic miscalculation that seems to drive US foreign policy in the region. Blogger Thomas did a better job of explaining this. Thomas quotes from William Darymple's The Last Mughal:
. . . nothing threatens the liberal and moderate aspect of Islam so much as aggressive Western intrusion and interference in the East . . .
This one line delivers what has to be most eloquent and devastating critique of the foreign policy of the Bush Administration.


  1. Why exactly?


  2. Pakistanis don't want American troops fighting on their territory.

    American military actions in Pakistan put the moderate Pakistan government in a difficult situation. On one hand, if it allows US military action, the Pakistani government would risk becoming discredited in they eyes of Pakistani people (it will look like an American puppet). If this happens, the extremists stand to gain in popularity. The other possibility is that the American intrusions onto Pakistani territory will force the government to adapt a more anti-American policy, moving the government into alignment with the extremists.

    Of course, if the Americans know exactly where the terrorists are hiding in NW Pakistan --and can take them out -- then it may well be worth the risk. If you are talking about a one-time strike, the Pakistan reaction can be managed. The problem is the US seems to be going on an armed "fishing expedition," initiating military actions in Pakistan without good intelligence. This can only inflame US-Pakistan relations and is likely to prove counter-productive in the fight against Islamic extremists.

  3. The situation is explained further in this article:


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