Nitin Pai of Acorn thinks the US may finally be ready to give up on strategic ally Pakistan.
excerpt: President Obama has delivered the Pakistani generals a nasty surprise—the residual US presence on the Afghan side of the Durand Line and drone strikes on Pakistani soil will calibrate how much Pakistan can influence the security and stability of Afghanistan. We have not reached the point yet, but it may well be that international forces need not rely on Pakistani routes on their way out.
Some of Nitin’s points in italics, followed by my comments:
1. “Therefore, (America’s) ability to swing will depend on whether it can get over its Iran dogma and work out a modus vivendi, at least in Afghanistan.”
This makes a lot of sense in a “assume a can opener” kind of way, but why should we assume this can opener? I dont fully understand why the US is so determined to be nasty to Iran, but it is (Saudi Arabia? Israel? something else?). This does not seem likely to change.
2. “To the extent that Pakistani army’s needs for an ‘acceptable civilian face’ to extract money from the United States is diminished, Imran Khan’s—and Hafiz Saeed’s—political fortunes are set to improve.”
I would go further. If the non-NATO ally becomes an opponent there will be a new “carertaker regime” or Martial law in Pakistan within the year. And that regime will be right wing and openly allied with the Isalmists. “Anti-imperialist” leftists will be tolerated for a while but not for long. But the fascists will NOT be able to make the trains run on time. In fact they will find it near impossible to make the trains run at all. Further ahead lies collapse and/or war with India.
Which is why I still think the establishment will find a way to eke out some kind of compromise with the US. A compromise that will leave everyone unhappy, but which will drag the thing out past this year and the rest (as usual) will be in the hands of Allah.
3. The longer these militants have reason to fight in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, the better it is for India. This should be one of New Delhi’s policy goals.
This may be a case of fighting the last war. These are not the nineties. What India may need to plan for is A> an actual shooting war in the last stages of the collapse of fascism in Pakistan (if #2 comes to fruitition) and B). What happens AFTER the war (assuming the blessed bombs dont go off , in which case, Sayonara). Where will the pieces go? Who gets what?
Which again makes me think it wont go that far. Well, at least I hope not. The likely results are all bad. Everyone and his uncle in Pakistan is itching to humiliate the great satan, but this may end up as a suicide bombing unless the corrupt elite has enough self awareness to avoid killing the goose that lays the golden eggs…they are not totally dumb. Will look for way out. And Obama will also be scared of sniping from the left, the right and the state department for “losing Pakistan”, so has some incentive to pay up and move on..
btw, nice piece here by Ahsan Butt