Author Topic: Can it be World Police Time now?  (Read 8905 times)

LMNO

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #60 on: May 01, 2009, 02:24:30 pm »
Do you HONESTLY think that the Pakistani army is going to allow a bunch of dirty-bearded goatfuckers to take control of Islamabad and/or Pakistan's nuclear arsenal?

Surely I'm not the only one who sees the Taliban's "push" into Pakistan as an ISI-orchestrated maneuver designed to cultivate support among the Pakistani populace (and local politicians) for the idea of going to "extreme" measures to "regain" control of their territory and border?

The taliban are not exactly a real army, and they'd get their asses handed to them in a stand-up fight. Islamabad could not be taken surreptitiously and even the taliban themselves know they'd be incapable of taking it AND holding it.

Now, Pakistan is going to have alot of influence on what happens in Afghanistan in both the short and long-term. I wouldn't put it past them to push for concessions for the taliban (regional governmental appointments, etc.) in return for a big public show that gives them room to operate in the manner they see fit.

Finally, someone said the most obvious thing about this whole insurgency theatre.

There are five major factions in Pakistan, roughly speaking.  The military, the ISI, the Government, the Judiciary and civil society (ie journalists, the middle class etc).  The military and the ISI have a tacit alliance against the other three, and the Pakistani Taliban are the dagger at their enemy's throats.

I mean, come on, lets think about this.  South and Central Asia have been the contesting grounds for great powers for 160 years.  Russia/the USSR, China, Iran, the British Raj/India & Pakistan and the USA have all been trying to exercise massive influence over the region, at one time or another (even Saudi Arabia tried playing the game - badly, but still).  The Taliban ain't got shit on the strategists in the Pakistani Joint Chiefs of Staff, and that's a fact evidenced by Pakistan still existing, and the Taliban getting their asses handed to them with less than a decade of rule under their belts.

Lets put it this way - Pakistan's army is not locally called Military Inc. for nothing.  They're big money makers, political movers and shakers, and geopolitical players with deep pockets, long memories and a very far reach.  They've carried out coups, assassinations, black flag operations and deal in drugs and arms and slaves - and we're meant to believe people like this are having their asses handed to them by the Taliban?

No, what's happening is this: the ISI and military have ties to the Taliban because it gave them power and influence and practically an entire new state to do whatever the fuck they wanted with.  What can you do with an entire country, big budgets, an even bigger illegal budget and no oversight?  Make a few millionaires, at the very least.  Additionally, you've got pressure on India and a potential threat to China, your bestest buds in the world, under your control, as well as a gateway from Central Asia to the nearest warm sea port, all under your command.  Empires used to spring up on trade routes, you know.

Basically, the ISI and military are in a win-win situation.  Either the Taliban threat causes the government to get its shit together, and funds and arms and all manner of black ops and deniable slush funds are opened to them and the scenario plays out as above.  Or else, the government caves under the pressure and the military and ISI carry out another coup and take control again, because clearly the Pakistani civilian parliament is too incompetent to be allowed sharp knives, let alone be trusted with running the country. 

Its not like the Pakistani Taliban are a serious guerrilla force.  Hell, the advance that caused the whole OMG ISLAMOFASCISTS WIFF NUKES bed-wetting was a massive failure.  They overextended their forces and had to withdraw, begging promises from Islamabad that shariah law would be instituted in certain regions or else, um, President Zadari would be, like, totally beaten up for his lunch money tomorrow, or something.  In other words, they don't have the manpower to occupy those regions and institute it themselves, or else they would be doing that right now.  Equally, they don't have the manpower to attack Islamabad, or else they would.

And now, not only the Pakistani Taliban knows the true extent of their power, so does everyone else.

Damn, Cain.


It's good to have you resurrected.

Cain

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #61 on: May 01, 2009, 02:34:50 pm »
Unfortunately liberalism, by it's very nature, doesn't stand a chance against fascism.

Fascists seize power ruthlessly and often violently. Liberals whine about how unfair it all is. I know which one I'd be betting on.

:cn:

I seem to recall some sort of war in central Europe or something...

LMNO

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #62 on: May 01, 2009, 02:42:55 pm »
The stereotypical movie fascist will beat the stereotypical FoxNews cartoon liberal every time, because the former is stretched to resemble a Mike Meyers Boogieman, and the latter is diminished to appear weak and ineffectual.

Real life tends to be much more complicated.

Cain

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #63 on: May 01, 2009, 03:37:49 pm »
Yes, precisely.

Also  http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-05-01-voa13.cfm

Quote
The Pakistani military says up to 60 militants have been killed in the last 24 hours of a major offensive against Taliban fighters in the northwest.

Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said Friday the militants were killed in Buner district.


Telarus

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #64 on: May 01, 2009, 08:22:58 pm »
Damn, Cain.


It's good to have you resurrected.

Seriously. That summation was brilliant. I said it in that other thread, but Welcome Back!
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Cain

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2009, 03:10:27 pm »
BOOM, HEADSHOT!

http://www.juancole.com/2009/04/readers-have-written-me-asking-what-i.html

Quote
[...]

Some 55 percent of Pakistanis are Punjabi, and with the exception of some northern hardscrabble areas, I can't see any evidence that the vast majority of them has the slightest interest in Talibanism. Most are religious traditionalists, Sufis, Shiites, Sufi-Shiites, or urban modernists. At the federal level, they mainly voted in February 2008 for the Pakistan People's Party or the Muslim League, neither of them fundamentalist.

[...]

Another major province is Sindh, with nearly 50 mn. of Pakistan's 165 mn. population. It is divided between Urdu-speakers and the largely rural Sindhis who are religious traditionalists, many of the anti-Taliban Barelvi school. They voted overwhelmingly for the centrist, mostly secular Pakistan People's Party in the recent parliamentary elections.

Residents of Sindh and Punjab constitute some 85% of Pakistan's population, and while these provinces have some Muslim extremists, they are a small fringe there.

Pakistan has a professional bureaucracy. It has doubled its literacy rate in the past three decades. Rural electrification has increased enormously. The urban middle class has doubled since 2000. Economic growth in recent years has been 6 and 7 percent a year, which is very impressive. The country has many, many problems, but it is hardly the Somalia some observers seem to imagine.

Opinion polling shows that even before the rounds of violence of the past two years, most Pakistanis rejected Muslim radicalism and violence. The stock of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda plummeted after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

[...]

The NYT's breathless observation that there are Taliban a hundred miles from Islamabad doesn't actually tell us very much, since Islamabad is geographically close to the Pushtun regions without that implying that Pushtuns dominate or could dominate it. It is like saying that Lynchburg, Va., is close to Washington DC and thereby implying that Jerry Falwell's movement is about to take over the latter.

The Pakistani Taliban amount to a few thousand fighters who lack tanks, armored vehicles, and an air force.

The Pakistani military is the world's sixth largest, with 550,000 active duty troops and is well equipped and well-trained. It in the past has acquitted itself well against India, a country ten times Pakistan's size population-wise. It is the backbone of the country, and has excellent command and control, never having suffered an internal mutiny of any significance.

[...]

Or is the fear that some junior officers in the army are more or less Taliban and that they might make a coup? But the Pakistani military has typically sought a US alliance after every coup it has made. Who would support Talibanized officers? Not China, not the US, the major patrons of Islamabad.

[...]

All the talk about the Pakistani government falling within 6 months, or of a Taliban takeover, flies in the face of everything we know about the character of Pakistani politics and institutions during the past two years.

My guess is that the alarmism is also being promoted from within Pakistan by Pervez Musharraf, who wants to make another military coup; and by civilian politicians in Islamabad, who want to extract more money from the US to fight the Taliban that they are secretly also bribing to attack Afghanistan.

Advice to Obama: Pakistan is being configured for you in ways that benefit some narrow sectional interests. Caveat emptor.

[...]

All the military coups in Pakistan have been made from the top by the army chief of staff. Therefore Gen. Ashfaq Kayani is the man to watch. He was Benazir Bhutto's army secretary and has ties to the Pakistan People's Party. Not a Talib.

The hype about Pakistan is very sinister and mysterious and makes no sense to someone who actually knows the country.

LMNO

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #66 on: May 13, 2009, 03:17:36 pm »
Quote
It is like saying that Lynchburg, Va., is close to Washington DC and thereby implying that Jerry Falwell's movement is about to take over the latter.

That.  Right there.

Cain

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2009, 10:48:50 pm »
Bump to remind everyone that the Pakistani Army is now sponsoring death squads in the Swat region, who are churning out scores of dead Taliban fighters and sympathizers from the months of sharia law and rule in the region.  Often their bodies have unusual cuts and burns, and are put on public display.

Meanwhile, the ISI is sponsoring Afghan Taliban attacks from across the Turkmenistan border, for reasons explained below by a former Deputy Minister of the Interior:

Quote
By creating trouble near the borders with our Central Asian neighbors, Pakistanis can say “Look you see, there is instability all over Afghanistan, not just along the Durand Line. By stirring up instability in formerly stable areas, it may make the new NATO negotiations with CIS countries seem less appealing. Again, Pakistan does not want to lose the revenue from the Western military freight that transits through its territory. It also does not want to seem less of a crucial ally of the United States because Pakistan is deathly afraid of India, as we all know. So now we are having trouble near the border with Turkmenistan and this scares their leaders.


Jenne

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #68 on: September 23, 2009, 12:43:53 am »
And this is why Americans look at Afghanistan and say, "We're outta there!"  If fucking Bush would have left Iraq alone, this might not be such an issue.  The Talibs would likely have not gotten much of a foothold back into Afghanistan, and the damned Pakistanis wouldn't be so quick to run roughshod over anything they officially tell anyone about their maneuvering.

But at this point, Afghanistan looks way too complicated and harsh for anyone to linger in.

My husband and his brothers (the 24 year old and the 21 year old we "imported" along with my mother-in-law and their 2 sisters from Afghanistan by way of Pakistan 5 years ago) were sitting at the dinner table last Thursday, talking about the unrulyness of their homeland.  Their very words are that someone should come in and fist-fuck everyone, HARD, and then they'll have order.

But allowing the general populace to run around like chickens with their heads cut off, letting warlords warlord it over everyone, letting this faction at this border tangle here, there, and everywhere, just won't work and will tangle the skein further.

I'm not sure there IS such a fist-fucking entity...I'm not sure there is ANYONE with the balls, the know-how and the money to do such a thing.  The US obviously screwed the pooch in pandering to every side they could in a scramble to gain anything in that wasteland...and Europe seems to just be wading in deeper than anyone back home wants with little or no effect.

But abandoning Afghanistan when only 30% of the objective has been reached may not be plausible, either.  I said last week in the Afghan-Men-Summit Chez Jenne:  "Just cut it all up and hand it over to the factions already running the place in their parts."

They didn't seem to think that this was such a bad idea, either.

Cain

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #69 on: September 23, 2009, 02:51:09 pm »
Its all about the cost/benefit analysis as far as I'm concerned.  Sure, leaving Afghanistan now leaves everyone open to more terrorist attacks, but by how much?  Could the money that will be saved by not having to support a military force in the field for another decade go into intelligence, policing and border controls budgets, and offset that chance of an attack?  Would pulling out pull the rug from under Pakistan's military budget by leaving damage their ability to play games with their own government and the states of central Asia?  What about the much overlooked civilian and political support?  Can wiping out corruption in Afghanistan solve the governance problem, meaning less troops are needed?

And so on and so forth.  I'm not convinced a surge in troops is necessary, or even that it would work.  It would be better to get the troops in country to stop acting like idiots.  I'd advise rotating everyone who is not already in a position where they have direct influence on important Afghani tribal leaders, police officers, politicians etc out, and rotating the veterans of Iraq 2006-Present in, only I feel kinda sorry for those guys, since they've already had to clean up one person's ill considered mess.

But then, I'm not exactly a fan of the occupation at all, as you may have noticed.  I think NATO works best as an offshore balancing force, given the nature of our armed forces and general geographic position.  Periphery powers do not prosper in central Asia, Russia and China will always have more influence.  Break shit, set up a semi-functional system for withdrawal and let them pick up the pieces - with input via the UNSC, NATO-Russia Council, G8 etc to make sure our interests are protected.  I'm willing to give McChrystal another year, to see if meeting the new objectives in Afghanistan is even possible, but after that, I've had it with Bush and Obama's Most Bogus South Asian Adventure

Jenne

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Re: Can it be World Police Time now?
« Reply #70 on: September 23, 2009, 03:04:23 pm »
Its all about the cost/benefit analysis as far as I'm concerned.  Sure, leaving Afghanistan now leaves everyone open to more terrorist attacks, but by how much?  Could the money that will be saved by not having to support a military force in the field for another decade go into intelligence, policing and border controls budgets, and offset that chance of an attack?  Would pulling out pull the rug from under Pakistan's military budget by leaving damage their ability to play games with their own government and the states of central Asia?  What about the much overlooked civilian and political support?  Can wiping out corruption in Afghanistan solve the governance problem, meaning less troops are needed?

And so on and so forth.  I'm not convinced a surge in troops is necessary, or even that it would work.  It would be better to get the troops in country to stop acting like idiots.  I'd advise rotating everyone who is not already in a position where they have direct influence on important Afghani tribal leaders, police officers, politicians etc out, and rotating the veterans of Iraq 2006-Present in, only I feel kinda sorry for those guys, since they've already had to clean up one person's ill considered mess.

But then, I'm not exactly a fan of the occupation at all, as you may have noticed.  I think NATO works best as an offshore balancing force, given the nature of our armed forces and general geographic position.  Periphery powers do not prosper in central Asia, Russia and China will always have more influence.  Break shit, set up a semi-functional system for withdrawal and let them pick up the pieces - with input via the UNSC, NATO-Russia Council, G8 etc to make sure our interests are protected.  I'm willing to give McChrystal another year, to see if meeting the new objectives in Afghanistan is even possible, but after that, I've had it with Bush and Obama's Most Bogus South Asian Adventure

I agree with all of this.  I'm not sure a year will do it, but you know what's sad?:  That fucker Bin Laden predicted we'd want to give up and take our toys home before anything was done in a definitive way about Afdamnistan.