Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of David Sanger, stray dogs, and crossroads of guns:



Obama’s Worst Pakistan Nightmare
By DAVID E. SANGER, NY Times
Published: January 8, 2009


"TO GET TO THE HEADQUARTERS of the Strategic Plans Division, the branch of the Pakistani government charged with keeping the country’s growing arsenal of nuclear weapons away from insurgents trying to overrun the country, you must drive down a rutted, debris-strewn road at the edge of the Islamabad airport, dodging stray dogs and piles of uncollected garbage. Just past a small traffic circle, a tan stone gateway is manned by a lone, bored-looking guard loosely holding a rusting rifle. The gateway marks the entry to Chaklala Garrison, an old British cantonment from the days when officers of the Raj escaped the heat of Delhi for the cooler hills on the approaches to Afghanistan. Pass under the archway, and the poverty and clamor of modern Pakistan disappear."

Guests: Lt. Gen. Rtd Haq Nawaz Khan, Tariq Fatmi and Brig (R) Samson Simon.


Comment:

Brig Samson Simon's entry into the Talk show circuit is a very welcome one. He brings to the analysis an additional approach which had been missing before, and that is a sharp military-tech details mind - while at the same time coupled with a dispassionate geostrategic intellect. Something like a Tom Clancy novel.

Re the subject, the NY Times article portrays the direction events are taking, and a predictable one. It was clear during Obama's election campaign that disarmament and containment of Pakistan would be amongst his very first priorities. Now the implementation of the same will begin to unfold with the Presidential Oath of Office, and it will be upto the Pakistani politicians and diplomats how they counter it.

So far, they have managed to successfully procrastinate using obfuscation and deception, while Obama is much too smart to fall for that. Pakistan will have to chose sides.

Are you with us or against us? That question will not only remain but become even clearer than it ever was with Bush.

10 comments:

Brigadier (retired) Samson Simon Sharaf said...

Thank for your opinion which puts me far ahead than where I see myself. As long as it makes our politicians realise that we are well on our way to becoming a Gorbachev Federation and perils associated with it, I have done my job as a Pakistani.

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

Why are you sure that Obama's Pak rhetoric was a sure sign that they wanted to disarm and contain Pakistan and not merely political posturing?

After all if the US establishment was convinced that Pak had to be disarmed any US Prez, be it Obama or Bush or McCain wud have been goaded on to act. If Bush hasn't done so, why do you think Obama will do now.

Regards

Brigadier (retired) Samson Simon Sharaf said...

There are no two opinions in belling the cat. The issue is how it will be done. It proved rather simple in Gorbachev Federation. Though history seldom repeats in a blue print, this is what they will strive for. Already MQM, ANP and Zardari are floating a theme that to preserve the Federation, it is important to make the provinces stronger. This is exactly what Gorbachev did to USSR with an ailing economy. Ethno-Nationalism took over. A constantly fast growing economy remains a pre requisite for instrumentalist complimentary alliance.
Otherwise, its disaster.
The cat is expected to bell itself.

Zeemax said...

Majumdar,

Did you see the blog post titled "Who exactly is Barrack Obama?"

His initial appointments to office, particularly of Zbigniew Brzezinsky, confirm his agenda. Disarming Pakistan is not easy and the process was merely started by Bush. It will be continued by Obama or any other president because that is essentially the priority in the New American Century project of US Administration.

Majumdar said...

Brig sb,

to preserve the Federation, it is important to make the provinces stronger.

And why is this principle detrimental to Pakistan's interest, if at all it is so in your opinion.

It maybe irrelevant now but isn't this what LR-1940 was all about and wasnt this what brought Punjab, Sindh etc into Pakistan in the first place.

I agree on the Gorbachev analogy though. In USSR, political changes went way ahead of economic changes (unlike China)

Regards

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

By the way, I wud presume that the need to disarm Pakistan is motivated by the fact that it is the only Islamic nation to have the Bomb. Or is there something I am missing?

OTOH, why bother disarming Pakistan, why not simply co-opt it?

Regards

Zeemax said...

Brig Sahib,

Already MQM, ANP and Zardari are floating a theme that to preserve the Federation, it is important to make the provinces stronger .... Ethno-Nationalism took over.

Excellent comment. I totally agree.

...instrumentalist complimentary alliance.

What's that? Could you elaborate?

Zeemax said...

Majumdar,

... why is this principle detrimental to Pakistan's interest

Ethno-Nationalism Sir. Brig sahib gave the why of it. This is why a strong center is important for Pakistan and ethno-Nationalist forces like MQM and ANP are trying to weaken it.

...it is the only Islamic nation to have the Bomb. Or is there something I am missing?

This is it. What else?

OTOH, why bother disarming Pakistan, why not simply co-opt it?

How?

pavocavalry said...

GOOD INTERVIEW.ALTHOUGH SOME TIMES HE IS NON COMMITTAL.he remains a strict believer in secrecy still.

Zeemax said...

Pavo,

Maybe you can share some of his secrets with us :)