Unsettling developments in Pakistan....
Fareed Zakharia examines poisonous attitudes within the military:
Pakistan’s military has traditionally been seen as a secular and disciplined organization. But the evidence is now overwhelming that it has been infiltrated at all levels by violent Islamists, including Taliban and al-Qaeda sympathizers.
There is also strong evidence of a basic shift in the attitude of the Pakistani military. Last month, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, was invited to speak at the country’s National Defense University. Addressing a large gathering of officers, Haqqani asked the audience, “What is the principal national security threat to Pakistan?” He offered three categories: “from within [Pakistan],” “India,” and, “the United States.” A plurality voted for the third option....
Islamist ideology is replacing strategy. For 60 years, Pakistan’s military has focused obsessively on its rivalry with India. Large elements within that military appear to be switching obsessions, and the United States is replacing India as the organizing principle around which Pakistan’s military understands its national security interests. If this happens, not only is the Afghan war lost but Pakistan itself is also lost. (It does not have that far to fall; it made its annual appearance this year on Foreign Policy magazine’s “Failed States” list, coming in 12th, above Yemen.)....
Pakistan is drifting into a strategic black hole. Does the country really think its best path forward is as an adversary of the United States, currying favor with militants and becoming a vassal of China? Are its role models North Korea and Burma? Or does it want to crush the jihadist movements that are destroying the country, join the global economy, reform its society and become a real democracy? These are the questions Pakistan has to ask itself. The United States, for its part, having disbursed $20 billion in aid to Pakistan in the past decade — most of it to the military — needs to ask some questions of its own.
Widespread popular fury at the bin Laden raid fueled anti-US sentiment. The WP article observes:
Ali Khan Afridi is a wanted man.
Militants come to his house in this frontier city and menace his family. Men claiming to be from Pakistan’s intelligence services call at 2 a.m. and tell him to watch his back.
Afridi accepts all this as the price of his radical views: In a country where the vast majority of people believe the United States is an enemy, Afridi is unabashedly pro-American.
“I believe that America is the only power that can defeat these monsters, these terrorists,” said Afridi, a clean-shaven 36-year-old who leads a consortium of non-governmental groups. “And that means my life is in permanent danger.”
The United States and Pakistan have been allies for decades, but it has rarely been easy to be pro-American here. Now, after the killing early last month of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs, speaking out on behalf of the United States requires a degree of boldness that verges on a death wish.
Pakistani distancing from the US is a sure consequence of Obama's cut-and-run policy in Afghanistan, writes Bret Stephens, on the money as usual. Pakistan has ordered the US to close down a drone missile base. Robert Maginnis sees a "brewing nuclear crisis" in Pakistan that Team Obama must address, with the military Islamicizing, Pakistan's arsenal growing fast enough to pass great Britain's within a decade and Pakistan's long history of proliferating nuclear technology.
Western countries are also concerned about China helping Pakistan build two new nuclear plants. Yesterday Abdel Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's nuclear program godfather, stated that in the 1990s Pakistan sold nuclear secrets to North Korea.
On the (rare) plus side, India and Pakistan are meeting to develop nuclear crisis management protocols that reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war between the two Asian subcontinent nuclear powers.
Bottom Line. Pakistan is, for US purposes, a lost cause. Anti-US attitudes can only grow as the US winds down its war against al-Qaeda & the Taliban. The US must, after exiting Afghanistan, tilt strongly towards India, in an effort to check Pakistan's regional influence and growing nuclear arsenal.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, 9/11, National Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security, Nuclear Proliferation, Arms Control, WMD, Foreign Policy, Conservative Politics