News out today of another missile attack from a drone into Pakistani (Frontier Provinces). As always sadly civilians were killed. This comes on the heels of an actual ground force into Pakistan. The Asian Times is reporting that the new president of Pakistan, elected this weekend, Ali Zardari (widower of Benazir Bhutto) is on board with the US/NATO attacks in Pakistan, however much for public consumption he has to decry the intrusion on Pakistani sovereignty. The Atimes article also argues that Zardari has the Intelligence Services in Pakistan under control. Or rather that with the size of his victory, the Army (and ISI) won’t challenge such a putsch. That’s a shocking claim given the recent history, and I’m not sure I’d by that one without more evidence.
But it certainly represents the achievement of the US plan to back Bhutto and basically install her in Pakistan after it was clear that our SOB in Pakistan, Musharraf, was in an untenable position (well Cheney apparently held out on Musharraf to the bitter end).
The Obama Presidency re: Afghanistan and Pakistan is now under way, in a less intense version than he has called for–particularly in terms of nuumbers of troops into Afghanistan. And as Bob Woodward’s new book makes clear, David Petraeus was made CentCom Commander in an attempt to preempt Obama (or any Democratic President) from drawing down more quickly on Iraq. I can see a coming clash between a President Obama and CentCom Petraeus. And right smack dab between those two fronts is of course Iran. What an absolute disaster.
But whatever else may be going on with Pakistan, they fight in the Long War a war of existential survival whereas the US fights a war of discipline. Obviously the stakes are high given Afghanistan, Kashmir, and the history of militancy arising from Pakistan. Olivier Roy points out that so much trans-national militancy has arisen from Pakistan because it was never really a full state rather a piece together amalgamation and a notion of an “Islamic state”. A failure in this policy (and hell even a “success” however that is defined) could lead to a renewed jihadi movement emanating from Pakistan (and Afghanistan). And we know the last time that happened, how that story ended.