Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pakistan Threatens To End Fighting Against Taliban If Their Aid Is Cut

The Pakistanis are a tad upset over the withholding of some of their accustomed baksheesh from America, and in response, they're threatening to withdraw their troops from the Afghan border who are supposedly fighting the Taliban and other Islamist groups.

"If at all things become difficult, we will just get all our forces back," Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said in an interview with the Express 24/7 television. "If Americans refuse to give us money, then okay," he said. "I think the next step is that the government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period."

The army of course runs these things, not the defense minister. So Mukhtar is actually speaking for the Pakistani Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Kayani, and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (the infamous ISI), Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

An army spokesman underlined this in a separate interview by saying that if the US didn't fork over, they could rely on China, who they referred to as their "all-weather friend".

Since Pakistan has no oil or gas, China's only interest in Pakistan is as a counterbalance to India and a possible outlet to the Indian Ocean. Since China has its own Muslim problem to deal with in the Uigher insurgency, I doubt the relationship is worth $ 2 billion to them, at least not long term.

The idea that we're actually buying anything with the $2 billion in aid we give Pakistan aside from the ability to ship supplies to Afghanistan is a sick joke. As Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a former U.S. Marine Captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2002 and 2007 revealed after a fact finding trip to Afghanistan, the Pakistanis are allowing safe havens for our enemies on their soil and refusing to take them out or allow us to. And as my regular readers know, the Pakistanis have even been caught tipping our enemies off to upcoming raids.

More Islamist attacks have originated out of Pakistan than ever came out of any other Muslim nation except Iran and perhaps Syria. It's about time we ceased the rhetoric about Pakistan being an ally and faced up to what they really are - a failed Islamist state that aids and abets terrorism and is essentially a hostile entity. We should terminate with prejudice all aid and relations with them as soon as practicable. And if I were calling the shots, I'd finish up with a pre-emptive strike on their nuclear facilities as a final kiss goodbye when the last American leaves AfPak.

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B.Poster said...

"And if I were calling the shots, I'd finish up with a pre-emptive strike on their nuclear facilities as a final kiss goodbye when the last American leaves AfPak." As I've pointed out before in order to do this at a minimum, you have to know where the nuclear facilities are, you have to get past enemy defenses in order to reach the targets, then you have to get past enemy defenses to destroy the targets, and finally you have to be able to get your people and military equipment out.

Our chances of being able to do all of this are very slim. As such, its simply not a workable strategy. I'd suggest the following: American forces simply leave AfPak and redeploy to defensible positions along America's borders. There is no need to "kiss" anyone goodbye.

At a minimum, if I am to pretend I'm POTUS I'd want to know the following before authorizing such a strike. 1.)Do we know where the nuclear weapons sites are? 2.)Can we penetrate enemy defenses to reach the sites? 3.)Assuming we can do 1 and 2, can we further penetrate enemy defenses to destroy the sites? 4.)Assuming 1 through 3 can be carried out successfully, can we get our forces and equipment safely out once it is completed? 5.)In the event that 1 to 4 is carried out flawlessly, what will the reaction of the world be to this action? America is already almost universially despised. This is arguably our biggest problem right now. If this action only inflames anti-Amrericanism, it may have a negative strategic impact on our interests. In other words, the action could be a tactical success but a strategic failure.

In doing this analysis, we must recognize that information provided by the news media cannot be trusted and information provided by American intel is suspect at best. Given their massive failures on 9/11 and Iraq, I don't see how they can be trusted. I certainly would not trust them.

I estimate that the chances of us knowing where the sites are well enough to target them is, at best,
40%. If I were POTUS, this is reason enough not to authorize the attack on these facilities. Assuming we are right about the location, our chances of carrying out the next phases of the mission is less than 1%. As such, the prudent course of action seems to be complete and total withdrawl to defensible positions along our borders and the sooner it happens the better.

I'd be interested to get your thoughts on how likely you think such a mission is to be successful. Also, how does it impact already rampant anti-Americanism?

Rob said...

Poster, you asked me this before, and I provided you with a link to an article which contains a link toa map where all the Pakistani nuke facilities are.

Did you forget?

Finding them's no problem ,a nd the defenses are fairly low quality compared to what we can throw against them.

To answer your question, I estimate our chances of success at 90-100% if we chose to take them out.


B.Poster said...


I remember the map. The problem with it is it seems to be based upon news media reports which are likely from US or "allied" intellegence. Frankly neither of these sources are very trustworthy. Also, I wouldn't necessarily trust men like Mr. Musharaff to correctly tell us where these things are. Again, do we know where these things are? If we don't, we hit the wrong target.

With all due respect I think you are under estimating the capability of the enemy and you are overestimating our capabilities. Perhaps I'm under estimating our capabilities and over estimating the capabilities of our enemies. Even so, meet some where in the middle. The chaces of success are say 40% to 60%.

This makes this a very risky mission. Frankly I don't see POTUS authorizing it and even if he did I don't envision the military commanders going along with it. At this point, a mission that only has a 40% chance of success simply isn't worth it. Those men and women who would be tasked with carrying this out and would likely be killed are needed along our borders. At this point, we need every thing we can possibly get along our borders.

Also, there is the fall out of even greater anti-Americanism that would result from this operation. Essentially you might have a tactical success but a strategic failure. Anti-Americanism is arguably our biggest problem right now. It makes it VERY difficult for us to achieve our interests.

Finally, it appears the fall of Musharaff went along very simillar to that of Mubarak in Egypt. There was nothing we could have done to save Mubarak, however, acting as we did this meant his government fell faster than it would have had we simply stayed out of it. This made the ascension of the Taliban much more likely and made the job much easier for them. I'm wondering when we jettison this "democracy" fetish we seem to have.

B.Poster said...

I agree with the sentiment expressed in the article that we need to have contingency plans for withdrawl. My contingency plan would be withdraw now, as fast as our transport vehicles can get our people and equipment out, and begin without delay. Consultations with "allies" on this should be kept to the bare minimum.

Far better not to have to fight our way out. Btw, I wonder how Americans would feel about having their people fired upon as they are withdrawing? How might a nuclear armed nation react to such a thing? The quicker withdrawl happens the less likely something like that will happen. Maybe, just maybe, for the right price the Russians or the Chinese might be willing to guarantee our safe passage out of the region. It could only help our cause if the two most powerful countries on earth were with us on something. Unfortunately I'm not sure what we could offer either of them.

Finally, even if we take out Pakistan's nuclear facilities before we leave, they will just rebuild them. At most we buy ourselves a year or two. Better to withdraw right now to defensible postions where our warriors have a fighting chance to do what most of them signed on to do which is to defend our nation and our people.