Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Strategic Motivations for the Mumbai Attack

An analysis from stratfor.com - By George Friedman

Militant Attacks In Mumbai and Their Consequences

Last Wednesday evening, a group of Islamist operatives carried out a complex terror operation in the Indian city of Mumbai. The attack was not complex because of the weapons used or its size, but in the apparent training, multiple methods of approaching the city and excellent operational security and discipline in the final phases of the operation, when the last remaining attackers held out in the Taj Mahal hotel for several days. The operational goal of the attack clearly was to cause as many casualties as possible, particularly among Jews and well-to-do guests of five-star hotels. But attacks on various other targets, from railroad stations to hospitals, indicate that the more general purpose was to spread terror in a major Indian city.

While it is not clear precisely who carried out the Mumbai attack, two separate units apparently were involved. One group, possibly consisting of Indian Muslims, was established in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. The second group appears to have just arrived. It traveled via ship from Karachi, Pakistan, later hijacked a small Indian vessel to get past Indian coastal patrols, and ultimately landed near Mumbai.

Extensive preparations apparently had been made, including surveillance of the targets. So while the precise number of attackers remains unclear, the attack clearly was well-planned and well-executed.

Evidence and logic suggest that radical Pakistani Islamists carried out the attack. These groups have a highly complex and deliberately amorphous structure. Rather than being centrally controlled, ad hoc teams are created with links to one or more groups. Conceivably, they might have lacked links to any group, but this is hard to believe. Too much planning and training were involved in this attack for it to have been conceived by a bunch of guys in a garage. While precisely which radical Pakistani Islamist group or groups were involved is unknown, the Mumbai attack appears to have originated in Pakistan. It could have been linked to al Qaeda prime or its various franchises and/or to Kashmiri insurgents.

More important than the question of the exact group that carried out the attack, however, is the attackers’ strategic end. There is a tendency to regard terror attacks as ends in themselves, carried out simply for the sake of spreading terror. In the highly politicized atmosphere of Pakistan’s radical Islamist factions, however, terror frequently has a more sophisticated and strategic purpose. Whoever invested the time and took the risk in organizing this attack had a reason to do so. Let’s work backward to that reason by examining the logical outcomes following this attack.

An End to New Delhi’s Restraint

The most striking aspect of the Mumbai attack is the challenge it presents to the Indian government — a challenge almost impossible for New Delhi to ignore. A December 2001 Islamist attack on the Indian parliament triggered an intense confrontation between India and Pakistan. Since then, New Delhi has not responded in a dramatic fashion to numerous Islamist attacks against India that were traceable to Pakistan. The Mumbai attack, by contrast, aimed to force a response from New Delhi by being so grievous that any Indian government showing only a muted reaction to it would fall.

India’s restrained response to Islamist attacks (even those originating in Pakistan) in recent years has come about because New Delhi has understood that, for a host of reasons, Islamabad has been unable to control radical Pakistani Islamist groups. India did not want war with Pakistan; it felt it had more important issues to deal with. New Delhi therefore accepted Islamabad’s assurances that Pakistan would do its best to curb terror attacks, and after suitable posturing, allowed tensions originating from Islamist attacks to pass.

This time, however, the attackers struck in such a way that New Delhi couldn’t allow the incident to pass. As one might expect, public opinion in India is shifting from stunned to furious. India’s Congress party-led government is politically weak and nearing the end of its life span. It lacks the political power to ignore the attack, even if it were inclined to do so. If it ignored the attack, it would fall, and a more intensely nationalist government would take its place. It is therefore very difficult to imagine circumstances under which the Indians could respond to this attack in the same manner they have to recent Islamist attacks.

What the Indians actually will do is not clear. In 2001-2002, New Delhi responded to the attack on the Indian parliament by moving forces close to the Pakistani border and the Line of Control that separates Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, engaging in artillery duels along the front, and bringing its nuclear forces to a high level of alert. The Pakistanis made a similar response. Whether India ever actually intended to attack Pakistan remains unclear, but either way, New Delhi created an intense crisis in Pakistan.

The U.S. and the Indo-Pakistani Crisis

The United States used this crisis for its own ends. Having just completed the first phase of its campaign in Afghanistan, Washington was intensely pressuring Pakistan’s then-Musharraf government to expand cooperation with the United States; purge its intelligence organization, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of radical Islamists; and crack down on al Qaeda and the Taliban in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had been reluctant to cooperate with Washington, as doing so inevitably would spark a massive domestic backlash against his government.

The crisis with India produced an opening for the United States. Eager to get India to stand down from the crisis, the Pakistanis looked to the Americans to mediate. And the price for U.S. mediation was increased cooperation from Pakistan with the United States. The Indians, not eager for war, backed down from the crisis after guarantees that Islamabad would impose stronger controls on Islamist groups in Kashmir.

In 2001-2002, the Indo-Pakistani crisis played into American hands. In 2008, the new Indo-Pakistani crisis might play differently. The United States recently has demanded increased Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border. Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama has stated his intention to focus on Afghanistan and pressure the Pakistanis.

Therefore, one of Islamabad’s first responses to the new Indo-Pakistani crisis was to announce that if the Indians increased their forces along Pakistan’s eastern border, Pakistan would be forced to withdraw 100,000 troops from its western border with Afghanistan. In other words, threats from India would cause Pakistan to dramatically reduce its cooperation with the United States in the Afghan war. The Indian foreign minister is flying to the United States to meet with Obama; obviously, this matter will be discussed among others.

We expect the United States to pressure India not to create a crisis, in order to avoid this outcome. As we have said, the problem is that it is unclear whether politically the Indians can afford restraint. At the very least, New Delhi must demand that the Pakistani government take steps to make the ISI and Pakistan’s other internal security apparatus more effective. Even if the Indians concede that there was no ISI involvement in the attack, they will argue that the ISI is incapable of stopping such attacks. They will demand a purge and reform of the ISI as a sign of Pakistani commitment. Barring that, New Delhi will move troops to the Indo-Pakistani frontier to intimidate Pakistan and placate Indian public opinion.

Dilemmas for Islamabad, New Delhi and Washington

At that point, Islamabad will have a serious problem. The Pakistani government is even weaker than the Indian government. Pakistan’s civilian regime does not control the Pakistani military, and therefore does not control the ISI. The civilians can’t decide to transform Pakistani security, and the military is not inclined to make this transformation. (Pakistan’s military has had ample opportunity to do so if it wished.)

Pakistan faces the challenge, just one among many, that its civilian and even military leadership lack the ability to reach deep into the ISI and security services to transform them. In some ways, these agencies operate under their own rules. Add to this the reality that the ISI and security forces — even if they are acting more assertively, as Islamabad claims — are demonstrably incapable of controlling radical Islamists in Pakistan. If they were capable, the attack on Mumbai would have been thwarted in Pakistan. The simple reality is that in Pakistan’s case, the will to make this transformation does not seem to be present, and even if it were, the ability to suppress terror attacks isn’t there.

The United States might well want to limit New Delhi’s response. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to India to discuss just this. But the politics of India’s situation make it unlikely that the Indians can do anything more than listen. It is more than simply a political issue for New Delhi; the Indians have no reason to believe that the Mumbai operation was one of a kind. Further operations like the Mumbai attack might well be planned. Unless the Pakistanis shift their posture inside Pakistan, India has no way of knowing whether other such attacks can be stymied. The Indians will be sympathetic to Washington’s plight in Afghanistan and the need to keep Pakistani troops at the Afghan border. But New Delhi will need something that the Americans — and in fact the Pakistanis — can’t deliver: a guarantee that there will be no more attacks like this one.

The Indian government cannot chance inaction. It probably would fall if it did. Moreover, in the event of inactivity and another attack, Indian public opinion probably will swing to an uncontrollable extreme. If an attack takes place but India has moved toward crisis posture with Pakistan, at least no one can argue that the Indian government remained passive in the face of threats to national security. Therefore, India is likely to refuse American requests for restraint.

It is possible that New Delhi will make a radical proposal to Rice, however. Given that the Pakistani government is incapable of exercising control in its own country, and given that Pakistan now represents a threat to both U.S. and Indian national security, the Indians might suggest a joint operation with the Americans against Pakistan.

What that joint operation might entail is uncertain, but regardless, this is something that Rice would reject out of hand and that Obama would reject in January 2009. Pakistan has a huge population and nuclear weapons, and the last thing Bush or Obama wants is to practice nation-building in Pakistan. The Indians, of course, will anticipate this response. The truth is that New Delhi itself does not want to engage deep in Pakistan to strike at militant training camps and other Islamist sites. That would be a nightmare. But if Rice shows up with a request for Indian restraint and no concrete proposal — or willingness to entertain a proposal — for solving the Pakistani problem, India will be able to refuse on the grounds that the Americans are asking India to absorb a risk (more Mumbai-style attacks) without the United States’ willingness to share in the risk.

Setting the Stage for a New Indo-Pakistani Confrontation

That will set the stage for another Indo-Pakistani confrontation. India will push forces forward all along the Indo-Pakistani frontier, move its nuclear forces to an alert level, begin shelling Pakistan, and perhaps — given the seriousness of the situation — attack short distances into Pakistan and even carry out airstrikes deep in Pakistan. India will demand greater transparency for New Delhi in Pakistani intelligence operations. The Indians will not want to occupy Pakistan; they will want to occupy Pakistan’s security apparatus.

Naturally, the Pakistanis will refuse that. There is no way they can give India, their main adversary, insight into Pakistani intelligence operations. But without that access, India has no reason to trust Pakistan. This will leave the Indians in an odd position: They will be in a near-war posture, but will have made no demands of Pakistan that Islamabad can reasonably deliver and that would benefit India. In one sense, India will be gesturing. In another sense, India will be trapped by making a gesture on which Pakistan cannot deliver. The situation thus could get out of hand.

In the meantime, the Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will mean that one leg of the Petraeus and Obama plans would collapse. Washington’s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it. The Taliban’s ability to fight would increase, while the motivation for any of the Taliban to enter talks — as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested — would decline. U.S. forces, already stretched to the limit, would face an increasingly difficult situation, while pressure on al Qaeda in the tribal areas would decrease.

Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created. First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda. Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government — or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan. Finally, the United States’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.

By staging an attack the Indian government can’t ignore, the Mumbai attackers have set in motion an existential crisis for Pakistan. The reality of Pakistan cannot be transformed, trapped as the country is between the United States and India. Almost every evolution from this point forward benefits Islamists. Strategically, the attack on Mumbai was a precise blow struck to achieve uncertain but favorable political outcomes for the Islamists.

Rice’s trip to India now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan. Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration — and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai.

19 comments:

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

I broadly agree with this assessment.

I had already written this earlier and this kind of reinforces my opinion. My suspicion is that it has been done by some premutation and combination of AQ-TTP-LET- rouge elements of ISI with the motivation of encouraging Indian mobilisation on Pak's Eastern border and counter by Pak Army letting the Talibs off the hook.

Actually it is lose-lose scenario for all three- India- Pak-US. Neither India nor Pak can go to war without millions of dead on either side and USA can't permit this. If India backs down, it loses face. Two things can happen:

1. India mobilises like 2002 w/o attacking which has the same impact as a war in terms of letting TTP off the hook.
2. India doesn't mobilise but responds with some terrorist strikes (shud it have some hitmen within Pak, you wud be more knowledgable on that)

Regards

Zeemax said...

Majumdar,

Yes a lot of this analysis makes sense. It is however too premature to say exactly which groups were involved, and in fact may never be known. These groups operate in a cellular form and you will recall one of the attackers at Nariman House (Imran?) said he didn't know who the other gunmen were and he could only talk about why he was doing it.

You're right its a lose-lose situation for all three.

But right now the Indian public wrath is directed at the politicians who seem totally disoriented with all this. Some of them have made amazingly silly remarks getting them deeper into trouble. Shiv Sena is calling for Presidential rule and many bloggers would happily accept something like a Patriot Act, or even Military rule in some cases!

I don't know what the Indian Govt will do to appease public anger, but missile strikes on Pakistani Kashmir are a distinct possibility.

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

but missile strikes on Pakistani Kashmir are a distinct possibility.

But Pakistan wouldnt let that go unchallenged, would it?

Regards

Zeemax said...

Majumdar,

As long as the attacks are within Pakistan's nuclear threshold (see "India's New Cold Start" War Doctrine:), I really don't know how Pakistan could respond. Perhaps Pavo Sahib would shed some light?

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

Thanks for the link. Btw, I am not sure that the Indian armed forces are strong enuff to achieve the doctrine.

Regards

pavocavalry said...

this is a golden opportunity for the USA as they see it and they will use it to carry out a surgical strike on pakistan.....an aerial strike in which both indian and US airforce is involved is a distinct possibility....pakistan needs to get the warheads fully ready and declare its intention to do so

pavocavalry said...

i think the lashkar a tayyaba camp at muridke well known to indian and US inteligence will be the symbolic first target

Majumdar said...

Amin sahib,

Read that comment on chowk too. The question is why? Why destroy the best "dogcatcher" in the region as you yourself have described the Pak Army?

Regards

pavocavalry said...

mohtaram you are right , actually i was the first to coin the term dog catcher in print media in 2002....the USA likes the dog catcher for its great Khidmaaat but minus nukes

Zeemax said...

pavocavalry,

Well ... yes Muridke has been mentioned as a target. Though I shudder at how counterproductive it will be considering what the bombing of the Bajaur madrassa did which killed 80 students in a remote area, against the 5,000 in Muridke which is practically within greater Lahore limits.

pavocavalry said...

dog catcher is used for infantry services ...while for nuclear and missile technology the dogcatchers are not considered as dependable while the more favourite indian dog catchers are considered good hounds with nukes who can be trusted against the big wild boar china that the USA wants to kill

pavocavalry said...

The penetration of non state groups and parties is a time tested and ancient tool of intelligence craft.

Seen in this context the Bombay Attacks could have been " state manipulated" .

The analysis may be divided in following parts :--

THE ACTUAL ACT:--

The actual act was done but has many questionable and abnormal aspects:--

1-How was so much ammunition/grenades/explosives carried which lasted for more than two days.
2-Why the Indians are insisting that there were just ten attackers.Whereas in reality the number could have been much higher.
3-How many attackers were actually killed.No one knows for certain.The dead bodies could be those of staged encounters.
4-What is the proof that the bodies of the supposed terrorists killed are actually those of the people who carried out the terrorist act.
5-How were these terrorists so well informed about layout of all targets.
6-Why were Israelis,Americans,British etc targeted in India whereas its much easier to target these in many other parts of the world ?
7-Why should Pakistani terrorists target foreigners in India whereas it is much easier to kill foreigners in Pakistan ?

THE PENETRATION ASPECT AND THE INTERNAL COLLUSION ASPECT:--

1-The fact that a terrorist group was penetrated by a state entity in guise of Al Qaeda or any other group cannot be ruled out.
2-In turn this state entity provide readily pre-stocked munitions and armaments to the perpetrators.

THE CONCLUSION:--

1- A staged drama by a state actor or more than one state actor who want to prepare a justification to take Pakistan to task.
2-The foreigners were killed to manipulate the public opinion in Europe/USA .
3-Clearly the terrorists were not sea launched but launched from a safehouse in Bombay.
4-The terrorists were 5 to 10 more times in number than the figure ten.
5-The real killers may have esacped and the bodies shown to the press those of guinea pigs killed in a staged encounter.

If a state is willing to lose many thousands in war why cannot a state lose about 200 civilians to achieve its strategic objectives.

pavocavalry said...

this is not the case of the cold start doctrine.the cold start doctrine is now a method far slower than what the Americans and Indians want.

In this scenario they need a quick fix solution:--

1-Aerial attacks to break the resolve of the Pakistani leadership.

2-Imposition of some sort of " surrender nuclear weapons and we guarantee your borders solution " on Pakistan.

3-The Americans see Pakistan as centre of gravity of the terrorism problem so they want to remove Pakistans nuclear shield so that fear of an Indian onsluaght will force the Pakistani state and its intelligence agencies not to aid non state actors in Afghanistan and India.

pavocavalry said...

The ‘Immediate’ Fights the’ Ultimate’ in South –Central Asia

By Usman Khalid

It has been repeatedly asserted by the ‘old guard’, who helped Barack Obama get elected as the President of the US, that his ‘mettle would be tested’ early in his Presidency by an ‘event’ in South Asia. That event has occurred - in Mumbai on November 26. The reaction of the USA and of India, as predicted in STRATFOR Summary (below), has precipitated. The ball is in Pakistan’s Court.

SRATFOR Analysis

Friedman is an influential thinker and a zionist


If the Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai were carried out by Islamist militants as it appears, the Indian government will have little choice, politically speaking, but to blame them on Pakistan. That will in turn spark a crisis between the two nuclear rivals that will draw the United States into the fray.



At this point the situation on the ground in Mumbai remains unclear following the militant attacks of Nov. 26. But in order to understand the geopolitical significance of what is going on, it is necessary to begin looking beyond this event at what will follow. Though the situation is still in motion, the likely consequences of the attack are less murky.



We will begin by assuming that the attackers are Islamist militant groups operating in India, possibly with some level of outside support from Pakistan. We can also see quite clearly that this was a carefully planned, well-executed attack.



Given this, the Indian government has two choices. First, it can simply say that the perpetrators are a domestic group. In that case, it will be held accountable for a failure of enormous proportions in security and law enforcement. It will be charged with being unable to protect the public. On the other hand, it can link the attack to an outside power: Pakistan. In that case it can hold a nation-state responsible for the attack, and can use the crisis atmosphere to strengthen the government’s internal position by invoking nationalism. Politically this is a much preferable outcome for the Indian government, and so it is the most likely course of action. This is not to say that there are no outside powers involved — simply that, regardless of the ground truth, the Indian government will claim there were.



That, in turn, will plunge India and Pakistan into the worst crisis they have had since 2002. If the Pakistanis are understood to be responsible for the attack, then the Indians must hold them responsible, and that means they will have to take action in retaliation — otherwise, the Indian government’s domestic credibility will plunge. The shape of the crisis, then, will consist of demands that the Pakistanis take immediate steps to suppress Islamist radicals across the board, but particularly in Kashmir. New Delhi will demand that this action be immediate and public. This demand will come parallel to U.S. demands for the same actions, and threats by incoming U.S. President Barack Obama to force greater cooperation from Pakistan.



If that happens, Pakistan will find itself in a nutcracker. On the one side, the Indians will be threatening action — deliberately vague but menacing — along with the Americans. This will be even more intense if it turns out, as currently seems likely, that Americans and Europeans were being held hostage (or worse) in the two hotels that were attacked. If the attacks are traced to Pakistan, American demands will escalate well in advance of inauguration day.



There is a precedent for this. In 2002 there was an attack on the Indian parliament in Mumbai by Islamist militants linked to Pakistan. A near-nuclear confrontation took place between India and Pakistan, in which the United States brokered a stand-down in return for intensified Pakistani pressure on the Islamists. The crisis helped redefine the Pakistani position on Islamist radicals in Pakistan.



In the current iteration, the demands will be even more intense. The Indians and Americans will have a joint interest in forcing the Pakistani government to act decisively and immediately. The Pakistani government has warned that such pressure could destabilize Pakistan. The Indians will not be in a position to moderate their position, and the Americans will see the situation as an opportunity to extract major concessions. Thus the crisis will directly intersect U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan.



It is not clear the degree to which the Pakistani government can control the situation. But the Indians will have no choice but to be assertive, and the United States will move along the same line. Whether it is the current government in India that reacts, or one that succeeds doesn’t matter. Either way, India is under enormous pressure to respond. Therefore, the events point to a serious crisis not simply between Pakistan and India, but within Pakistan as well, with the government caught between foreign powers and domestic realities. Given the circumstances, massive destabilization is possible — never a good thing with a nuclear power.



This is thinking far ahead of the curve, and is based on an assumption of the truth of something we don’t know for certain yet, which is that the attackers were Muslims and that the Pakistanis will not be able to demonstrate categorically that they weren’t involved. Since we suspect they were Muslims, and since we doubt the Pakistanis can be categorical and convincing enough to thwart Indian demands, we suspect that we will be deep into a crisis within the next few days, very shortly after the situation on the ground clarifies itself.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Analysis

Brigadier Usman Khalid




The date 26th of November (11/26) may well turn out to be a watershed in the history of South and Central Asia because it marks a turning point in the clandestine war on Pakistan waged by India, America and Afghanistan. This war began with the invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001. Seven years later, the occupation forces are far from being in control. But it has taken that long for the people of Pakistan to realise that America has been in control all these years. The thousands of servicemen and civilians killed were hit either by American missiles or by ‘suicide bombers’ recruited by the Afghan Intelligence, operationally under the control of India’s RAW, and paid for by the CIA.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, the clandestine operations against Pakistan are not so clandestine any more. The military strategy as well as the overall strategy is being changed. The military strategy is to reinforce the troops in Afghanistan (on the pattern of the ‘surge’ in Iraq), intensify operations on both side of Afghan-Pakistan border, declare victory and withdraw the bulk of the troops from Afghanistan leaving India in charge. India has sent about 15,000 combat troops to Afghanistan but it is dragging its feet on sending more. Among the several objectives that the USA want to achieve from 11/26 is to get India involved in a war on Pakistan’s soil. India has reasons to hesitate.



1. India has been engaged in three types of internal wars ever since it came into existence in 1947: 1) a caste war, 2) a class war, 3) a war on members of minority faiths – Muslims, Christians and the Sikhs. All these wars have become hotter after the rise of the BJP and 9/11. It is not because of any ideological or physical link; it is because of the aggressiveness of the Hindutva ideology and the audacity of 9/11. India had been able to use low castes in pogroms against the poor people of minority faiths. Not any more. The poor classes, the lower castes, and minority faiths now realise that their enemy is the same. The residents and occupants of the posh houses and hotels on the marine drive of south Mumbai represents the enemy. Many in India mourned but many more were secretly pleased. The Indian state is run by the upper class upper castes but not every soldier, policeman or civil servant is from the upper crust. India was frozen into inaction not merely by the audacity of the attack but also by doubts who it could trust? Despite clear evidence that every one of the attackers was Indian, the Government chose to blame Pakistan hoping that the people of India will unite in hate for Pakistan. But India is more petrified than vengeful. The ruling castes/class always feared but hoped that would never happen. More important, India’s foreign friends understand it even less. Strategic blunders are not just possible but are very likely.



2. Pakistan has just had a regime change. The new government is of secular political parties eager to please both America and India. It is intensely despised for not standing up to the US and to India to protect Pakistan’s interests. The attack on Marriot Hotel was carried out by RAW but the government did not make the information public. India has denied Pakistan its rights on water of Rivers Sutlej, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum but the Zardari regime has not even made a protest. If Pakistan is bombed more aggressively by the USA as suggested in the STRATFOR analysis, the people are not going to wait for the next elections to get rid of the Zardari regime. Armed cadres that exist in every province of Pakistan will take the law into their hands. A revolution is likely to fill the vacuum that emerges from Pakistan becoming a ‘failed state’. Those who hope that Pakistan would break up would be disappointed. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq broke up despite the wishes of the occupiers. The unity among the people in Pakistan is much stronger than those two countries. If the armed forces and the Banking System survived the revolution, Pakistan will emerge stronger and united. And Revolutions recognise no borders. It is India that may break up because the atrophy of the society in that country is much more advanced.



3. India has made its continued occupation of Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir a matter of honour and prestige. Sikh majority Punjab and the federal state of the seven sisters of Assam (some of them with Christian majority) are next in the queue to become sovereign independent states. USA and India have raised hopes in these independence movements by supporting self-determination in Baluchistan and Pashtunistan. The situation having been unfrozen, all these freedom movements would achieve legitimate and popular objectives once the regular armed forces of both countries falter and fail as is very likely in consequence of Indo-US efforts. The Pashtun being in the vanguard of the Islamic Movement, and the secession of Baluchistan being supported by three out of fifty tribes of Baluchistan, it seems very unlikely that the US plans against Pakistan would succeed. However, it is more likely that older and more popular independence movement in India might succeed. Destabilisation resulting from Indo-US plans against Pakistan would produce results much more surprising than in Iraq or Afghanistan. Can India take that risk?



The Immediate would largely conform to the STRATFOR analysis. But the Ultimate is much more interesting. If India does not reinforce its garrison in Afghanistan, America would lose interest in what India has to offer. The USA would undertake a ‘surge’ and everybody including Pakistan want it to succeed because that is a part of its ‘exit strategy’. After USA scales down its forces in Afghanistan, India will be chased out if it did not leave even earlier than the US. Pakistan will be bombed much more by the Americans as well as the ‘resistance’ in consequence of 11/26. The rest is very uncertain because the narrative would not be written by any ‘state’ but by the ‘resistance’. I mean ‘resistance’ in Pakistan that has the ruling parties – the PPP, the ANP, and the MQM – in its sights. ++

Zeemax said...

pavocavalry,

Doesn't look like your scenario is going to play out. Rice's language has changed from Pakistan "must" to Pakistan "needs to" to "it's Pakistan's responsibility" to "satisfied with Pakistan's assurances".

Seems the initial boil will settle down. Majumdar was right nothing will happen. Not though because Hindus are cowards, but India can not go it alone without USA and the cost to USA is too high with Pakistan fighting against it in Afghanistan rather than with it.

pavocavalry said...

it is very premature to make any judgements Mr Zeemax.

In strategy things move slowly although they do move.

Tip the sword with Uranium .

Pakisstani air defence cannot repel Indian aerial assualts and if that happens US aircrafts will also fly with Indian markings.

Pakistan needs to declare its firm promise to use nuclear weapons first.

Zeemax said...

Pavo,

Do you have the updated India/Pakistan Air Force & Missile Capability comparison from Jane's Defence? I think one needs to be a subscriber to access that.

It will be interesting to see what air strike & defence capability each side has. Anything similar from any other source?

pavocavalry said...

I suggest sir that you should do that ......my analysis is based on many interactions with airforce and air defence officers .......this is a dangerous conspiracy ..nothing has happened by chance and verything is going on by design

pavocavalry said...

tip the sword with uranium