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We need to concentrate on Pakistan!

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theophilus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:28 AM
Original message
We need to concentrate on Pakistan!
They have nuclear weapons and the Taliban/Al Qaeda types are gaining strength. The problem is that the Pakistani people don't like the American troops coming into their country. I guess we need a strong base/presence in a neighboring area to the trouble and we need to work with the Pakistani government on the low down. Maybe we could help them with drone intelligence and or drone missile strikes. Maybe in this way we could prevent those who hate Americans from getting nuclear material if Pakistan becomes totally chaotic. Now that is what we SHOULD be doing. IMO.
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is exactly why we're despised.
Yours is the mentality of empire, it comes naturally, unfortunately, to most Americans.
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theophilus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm afraid the Taliban wouldn't say no to Empire, as well. We
have had nuclear weapons for some time and have used them. Do you think the Taliban will show more restraint?
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Your apocalyptic scenario is another symptom of empire.
Deterrence is an effective way to stop a nuclear exchange, as is working with moderate elements within the Islamist movements in the region.

To paraphrase Chuck Hagel, Iraq and Afghanistan (and Pakistan) are not ours to lose. He writes elsewhere, "No country today has the power to impose its will and values on other nations."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

More bases and military solutions only exacerbate the problem. They bring corruption, poverty and human rights abuses, all of which deepen the hatred of the US and the West and prolong the conflict.
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theophilus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Do you think the Pakistani government wants, or needs, any help from us? n/t
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Of course it does, most corrupt oligarchies that profess "liberal" "western" values do.
Should we give it? No, because supporting such people has historically failed to further US interests.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. I AM concentrating! Wait, should I be trying to levitate Pakistan or bend it?
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theophilus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bend it slightly to the left. That'll do it. n/t
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
6. Oh Mercy...
the Taliban aren't going to take over Pakistans' nukes..

The issue for the US is that China's sphere of influence is taking hold in the Persian Gulf.
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theophilus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. I thought the Earth was China's sphere of influence. How can we "stop" them? n/t
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
10. It is much more complicated than that
Edited on Fri Sep-04-09 10:10 AM by TayTay
Pakistan is a huge country of over 135 million people. The vast majority of people there do not like the Taliban or the constricted form of government and societal control it uses. (A recent poll said 90% of the people in Pakistan oppose the Taliban.)

The area of trouble is the FATA or Federally Administered Tribal Area in the northeast of the country. The area is remote, more rural and very difficult to move people and supplies into and out of, generally. The area is settled by known communities, such as the Pashtun which can command more loyalty than the established "countries" of Afghanistan or Pakistan around them. (In a sense, the tribal loyalties are more permanent and established than the "countries" that were established in the last century. Pashtun identities can go back centuries. Pakistan and Afghanistan as countries go back a few decades.)

America does not have enough people who understand the language, customs and people of the this area. We lack native speakers, knowledge of the terrain and the innate knowledge of how to talk to potential allies in this area. This matters.

The drone attacks that the US is using are extremely controversial in Pakistan. They are meant to be fear-inducing weapons and we have to remember that when thinking about their potential use. Robotic, remote warfare is cost-effective for the US, but it has immense ethical ramifications that are deeply troubling. Their use could eventually harden the sentiment of the rest of Pakistan against the US making any inroads gained by mass slaughter and fear temporary and a rallying point for the opposition. (Drone attacks are lethal and are NOT pin-point accurate, btw. They have killed many, many civilians, people with relatives who remember the day death rained out of a clear blue sky and killed the innocent along with the guilty. It is a very, very harsh weapon.)

The Pakistani government is fragile right now. Pakistanis don't like to hear about other Pakistanis being killed by outsiders, even outsiders with "good intentions." If we do too much in Pakistan or seem to be dictating to the Pakistanis what will happen then we might well topple support for this government and get a government that will order the US out of Pakistan. What then?
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