I’m very late in commenting on events of the past week--travels, site troubles here, and trying to get a chunk of work done have kept me away from the keyboard. Anyway, for a while now I’ve been telling people who ask me that what really keeps people awake at night in Washington is not Iraq, or Iran, but Pakistan. If it slips under the waves, look out. It is not merely that terrorists might gain access to nukes, but the prospect that India might feel the need to launch a pre-emptive war. That India would like to have a go at Pakistan is no secret, but remarkably undiscussed. Pres. Clinton apparently had to intervene strongly to prevent the outbreak of war ten years ago; maybe it’s a bad thing Hillary didn’t attend NSC meetings.
Outside of moral considerations, what interest did we have in preventing India and Pakistan squaring off? Have you given a thought to the fact that it is VERY MUCH in our interest that India put Pakistan in its place once and for all. Pakistan's foreign policy regarding Kashmir is WILDLY provocative. In short, Pakistan has been begging for it for years now. What interest does the United States have in preventing Pakistan reaping what they've been sowing for decades?
Again, OUTSIDE of moral considerations, which are considerable, why should we take any action which insulates Pakistan from getting properly dealt with.
How about Pakistan's nuclear capability? Do you think Pakistan would be peacefully put in its place? I think not, and especially not by India.
That was the moral consideration I exempted, but other than the prospect of tens of millions slaughtered, who would mostly be Pakistani, what exactly is our interest in preventing India putting Pakistan down once and for all.
Actually the resulting carnage might introduce a change in the mindset of jihad.
The ablest British administrator in the long history of the Raj was Lord Curzon, and he observed that "a military steamroller" was going to have to make its way over most of the tribal areas, before any serious change in their behavior was likely to be seen. That comment was made about 120 years ago. He also said he was relieved that it was not going to be him to have to have to order that military punitive demonstration.
We're now into the 21st century, and the tribal areas are if anything, more dangerous for the region, for the world.
That being the case, the question stands, other than the moral considerations, what interest do we have in preventing Pakistan reaping what they have been so assiduously sowing. The ruling establishment of Pakistan, going back decades, has been sowing terror and blood, not just in Kashmir, but elsewhere. They established the Taliban, inflicting that nightmare on their Afghani neighbors.
Pakistan is not our friend, and has nothing truly in common with us. Their values, Islamic, are completely antithetical to those of the Anglosphere.
Now I'm quite open to a case being made that we have a humanitarian and moral interest in preventing India going after Pakistan. But what are the reasons of state? What is the argument from a perspective of real politick? How are the citizens of the United States and the citizens of the Free World advantaged by Pakistan being insulated from the results of their terror sponsorship?
Pakistan should be forced to deliver over A.Q. Khan, and forced to deliver over the entirety of the nuclear arsenal. That should have occurred within days of 9/11. Because Pakistan should not have been able to skate away Scot free from their establishment of the Taliban. Pakistan is as morally responsible for the events of 9/11 as was the Taliban itself. And we should have made them pay, and pay dearly.
What you are proposing sounds like kicking a hornet nest. Proposing nuclear war to settle such an area sounds unlikely and undesirable to me. No doubt about it, Pakistan has been a conflicted mess forever, but how does inciting war in the area make for a solution? "Pakistan should be forced to deliver over...." Who is going to do that forcing? Are we?
As to your moral question, Pakistan is not all of a piece in terms of politics or values. They are considerably divided. Perhaps you have no moral compunction about killing friends along with enemies, but some of us do.
Isn't the problem with conflagration that it is hard to contain, either in terms of time or space? Starting one, or winking at one started by India, say, seems a pitiful poor type of politicking to me.
Reference to reply #1 ...
Not long ago, India was an outcast in U.S. government circles while Pakistan was revered and, some might say, lead by.
Tribal politics is what bedevil us to this day