The Pakistan Conundrum


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Pakistan is a country that appears to echo Winston Churchill’s description of Russia: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Even though it acts like an enemy at times, strategic necessity dictates that it must be treated as an ally. And despite the animus directed toward the United States by the majority of the populace and several factions in the government, both nations must pretend that all is peaches and cream and that the nearly $7 billion in aid the US is doling out over the next 5 years has a chance to alter the fact that much of the country wants to see the US defeated in Afghanistan.

A delegation headed up by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Washington last week to hob nob with American officials on aid packages, military cooperation in the war on terror, and other bi-lateral concerns. But in many respects, it is what wasn’t discussed that reveals more about the current state of our relations with Pakistan than anything else.

Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf describes our relations with Pakistan as “making love to a cactus.” He writes:

The contrast between the meetings and the report reveal the core conundrum the Obama administration faces with regard to Pakistan. No country is home to more urgent risks. While near the top of the list of those risks are the presence and day-to-day violent agenda of al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other such militant organizations, at the very top is that the rational elements in the Pakistani government might lose control of some or all of the country’s nuclear arsenal. The United States seeks to shore up those rational elements — led in a practical sense more by [Army CIC General] Kayani than civilian officials — and collaborate with them in addressing the threats that President Obama himself has famously likened to a “cancer.” But in so doing, the United States must embrace a government that is fractured — divided in and against itself (within every sub-unit it seems, you find another split).

The catch is to figure out who’s on our side and who isn’t — a task made all the more difficult because for some of the players in Pakistan, it depends on which horse they are backing. For example, the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, apparently not only knew about the Mumbai attack before it happened, but was also in on some of the planning according to this article in the British Guardian. So the ISI is our enemy, right?

Not exactly. The intelligence agency has also been very generous in sharing information on the location of Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders hiding in the mountainous regions of Pakistan which has facilitated drone strikes that have killed many terrorists. And if that doesn’t confuse you, the fact that this same ISI assists the Afghanistan Taliban in planning operations that kill Americans will almost surely have your head spinning.

This is a conundrum without an easy solution. Pakistan is vital to our efforts in Afghanistan. It is a nuclear power at loggerheads with another ally and nuclear power India. It is on the frontline of the battle against terrorists, while engaging those terrorists at times to serve its own interests.

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    Pakistan has been playing a two faced double game with the West for decades and the only ones who are too stupid to know it is our multicultural and diversity obsessed State Department that is paralyzed by political correctness.

    We should as soon as possible destroy the nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons programs in Pakistan and level the terrorist camps in Pakistan. At the same time, we should get out of Afghanistan because there is nothing to win in Afghanistan as the fantasy based nation-building mission over there has always been exceedingly misguided and incredibly counterproductive. Hence, once Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons programs have been destroyed, and the terrorists and terrorist camps obliterated, we should leave ASAP, and from now on give our undivided support to India, as Pakistan is part of the Islamic world, which is waging a perpetual jihad against the non-Islamic world.

    We need to recognize that the entire Islamic world without exception is waging perpetual jihad against the non-Islamic free world and not just some of them. Therefore, none of them are our allies and all of them will play double games to pursue their interests if we let them.

    • Willieboy

      Too true. Where are all the 'moderate' Muslims were hear so much about from the Left?

    • nasir

      It's not out of love that west has to deal with Pakistan. It is always their own needs that force them to engage with Pakistan. May it be Afghan jihad in 80's against the soviets or lately so called war against terrorism. Coming to the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan, Alhamdulillah they are in safe hands. Nuclear Islamic state, Pakistan is a reality now and world has to accept it. One may be able to destroy it's arsenal but don't they have the brains to make it again?
      Peace

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Actually, once our aims with respect to the Soviets were accomplished, we had no further interests in that area, except now to defang your nuclear weapons arsenal and to destroy your nuclear weapons program and to also obliterate the jihadists and the terrorist camps with the full force of the US military, which is being held back because of political correctness.

        Anyway, while you may consider the nuclear arsenal as being in good hands, I’m not so naïve. As for as I’m concerned, no nuclear weapons should be allowed to be in the hands of Islamic states, since per Islam you guys have an imperative to subjugate the world by any and all means via the imposition of Sharia. Thus, it was a stupid mistake to allow Pakistan to acquire them in the first place, but that is what happens when leftists get elected to positions of power, and with respect to rebuilding a nuclear weapons program again, only if we don’t destroy your attempts every time you try again.

    • Wesley69

      After we do this, we need to make a warning, any attacks on this country will be met with a nuclear response and we will provide no aid toward rebuilding that country.

    • Duke

      Yo ObamaYoMoma, America is no longer white racist nation. Half of your Doctors, Engineers, Scientiist are either Chinese or South Asians and it is growing.

      Don't get to emotional by reading the above Article. What the Article does not tell you that Jihadis were the creation of CIA in early 80's. They are the one who created this monster to beat the Commis. Now, it is coming to haunt you.

      US has always used Pakistan's hands and feets to serve its interest in that region and of course it does not come for free. US don't have too many friends in that region. Fully support Indai !!. This is a country which is taking advantage of US failures in this region. Let's not forget that they sided with Comminist Russia and in they still do.

      Let me remind you that Pakistan is not like Panama or Greneda or Iraq. It can cause serious blow to Western forces. Attacking Pakistan will trigger third world war.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Yo ObamaYoMoma, America is no longer white racist nation. Half of your Doctors, Engineers, Scientiist are either Chinese or South Asians and it is growing.

        That’s a dumb leftwing myth. America never was a white racist nation. Nevertheless, only morons worship at the alter of multiculturalism and diversity, whereby all cultures are equal and beyond reproach with the exception of white western culture. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with Chinese or South Asians as long as they assimilate and integrate. However, I’m sorry but Muhammadan immigration must be banned and reversed, because they never immigrate to assimilate and integrate, only to eventually subjugate and dominate. It’s a form of demographic and stealth non-violent jihad the Muslim Brotherhood calls civilization jihad.

        Don't get to emotional by reading the above Article. What the Article does not tell you that Jihadis were the creation of CIA in early 80's. They are the one who created this monster to beat the Commis. Now, it is coming to haunt you

        Actually, that is a very dumb myth and only guilt filled self-hating loons and anarcho-kooks believe that garbage, because they have been inculcated to hate capitalism, always blame America first, and to hate Western civilization.

        Anyway, the reality is the Talibs (students), which later were morphed into the Taliban, are the graduate students of the thousands of Saudi funded madrassas in Pakistan and they are a joint product of the Saudis and the Pakistani ISI. Thus, after we accomplish what I said in my first post, we need to also eliminate the Saudi Royal Family as well and confiscate their oil wealth and oil assets from them, because if we don’t then they will continue to use that oil wealth and those oil assets to finance and fund jihad forever per the dictates of Islam.

        US has always used Pakistan's hands and feets to serve its interest in that region and of course it does not come for free. US don't have too many friends in that region.

        With respect to US interests, in the 80s the only interests we had in the region was to counter the Soviet Union, who were our Cold War adversaries of the 20th century. However, today because the global jihad is the new Cold War of the 21st century, our interests lies in neutralizing any and all threats emanating from the region.

        Fully support Indai !!. This is a country which is taking advantage of US failures in this region. Let's not forget that they sided with Comminist Russia and in they still do.

        With respect to India, the Soviet Union collapsed and thus its replacement is no longer the same adversary it once was. Hence, what India did in the past is irrelevant.

        Today, unlike Pakistan, rapidly developing India isn’t Islamic, as it has a democratic pluralistic society and thus we have many areas of shared interests that we can cooperate on to our mutual benefit.

        Moreover, unlike Islamic states, India like all other westernized democratic states doesn’t attack any of its neighbors for the purpose of conquest. However, like Israel, India is also the victim of a permanent jihad being waged against it by jihadists emanating out of Pakistan in the Kashmir region. In any event, India is a very valuable strategic ally to have and we should cooperate militarily and economically to fulfill our mutual interests.

        Let me remind you that Pakistan is not like Panama or Greneda or Iraq. It can cause serious blow to Western forces. Attacking Pakistan will trigger third world war.

        With all due respect, Pakistan is a basket case; let’s not get absurd. If Pakistan tried to resist the USA, it’s antiquated military would quickly be totally annihilated by the USA’s much more modern military machine. Hence, unless Pakistan wants to end up totally defenseless, it better cooperate.

      • ashvin

        lol, jihad was a CIA invention ! No surprise American is not longer the country it was. i am really laughing.

    • Chief Sitting Bull

      "Hear me people: We now have to deal with another race—small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is a disease with them. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule." – Chief Sitting Bull

  • Spider

    If you find a moderate Mu-slim please let me know. But personally I think it will be an exercise similar to searching for bigfoot or the tooth fairy or a chicken with teeth.

  • http://www.mysapce.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    we all know one fact moderate muslims are a total joke, but our government who has at it's head may well be a muslims. and lets face facts this NOV -2 Will mean nothing, but lik the so called moderate muslims we can all still hope, that is a joke.

  • http://senatormark4.org SenatorMark4

    Rick, please, people that can see ANYTHING good in dealing with corrupt, Islamic, pathetic countries like Pakistan are doing nothing more than making excuses for not expanding freedom. WE have the power to turn their entire country to glass at a moments notice but can't seem to twist up the nerve to tell them that endorsing our First and Second Amendments are what we consider a crucial foundation for freedom. Article 1, section 2 of the Constitution telling the politicians they will face the voters every TWO years is what makes a society patient when the rulers get off track and their corrupt system would surely benefit from endorsing it. SPREAD FREEDOM. Ignore tyrants completely: no grants, no loans, no military aid, no visas, no cultural exchanges. Let them fade into the mud (or tiptoe around the glass).

  • Wramblin’ Wreck

    I think the best solution would be to financially isolate Pakistan. Stop the tens of billions of dollars we pay them. Most of that just gets sucked up by corrupt politicians and military leaders. Interfere with Iran, Russia and North Korea’s payoffs to Pakistan. I really think that poverty will open their eyes.

    They have no conception of the personal freedoms that we enjoy. Requiring Pakistan to include these liberties (at least for now) would be like requiring a horse to dress only in blue. Teach them in a way to which they can relate and follow.