Our Diverted War Against Pakistan

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked the United States in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

We promptly invaded Tunisia.

A wise is war is fought where it’s advantageous to fight. There is no need to be fair in war, or to fight where an enemy expects. We responded to Japan’s attack by joining Great Britain and the Soviet Union in changing the whole world system.

On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attakced the United States in New York, New York.

We promptly invaded Afghanistan, and within a few years Iraq.

In Afghanitsan and in Iraq, like in the North African campaigns of World War II, we fought where it was easy. Actually attacking the state that supports, trains, protects, funds, and fights along with al Qaeda is hard.

Pakistan, after all, has nuclear weapons.

Greater Pakistan
Greater Pakistan

The situation is complicated by Pakistan’s economy, which is growing by at a good clip, but falling further behind India’s. Our future actions Pakistan must focus on separating the tribal areas — where Pakistan funds Taliban insurgents and thus protects al Qaeda cells — from the economically productive areas, where eventual integration with India should be our aim.

Some naive commentators believe that the Taliban had pacified Afghanistan by 9/11/01, though of course this is not true. The Taliban are not an Afghan insurgency, but a Pasthun/Baluchi movement supported by Pakistan. Pakistan is behind the Taliban.

Our way forward will be difficult. Liberals will soon turn against the War in Afghanistan. Within a generation of 9/11 — which means within the next 13 years — al Qaeda will be a fashionable cause on college campuses. We have been unable to change Pakistan’s support of the Taliban, so (assuming regime change is not an option), that leaves destroying Pakistan’s ability to conduct an independent foreign policy.

28 thoughts on “Our Diverted War Against Pakistan”

  1. TDAXP, this is one of your post that while short, makes me think. How could this be approached from a 4GW (more “Unrestricted Warfare” then guerrilla warfare) and/ro from a 5GW approach. I got to think about this.

  2. Depends on who’s doing it. In the case of India, a good place to start would be making apologies for their side of the partition blood shed while inviting (even aiding) those Muslims who wish to come home to do so and prosecuting Hindu fundamentalist violence.

    Preferably while making sure everyone in Pakistan knows India is doing these things. The Islamic radicals won’t be impressed, but the moderates will be forced to notice which side has the greener grass.

  3. Iraq was easy?

    Logically, Pakistan is (should be) target number three.

    Target number one: Afghanistan, to break up the camps and disrupt enemy C3.

    Target number two: Saudi Arabia, to cut off the money. Without Saudi money (and oil) Pakistan can’t stand. Without Saudi ideology and support, the educational and intelligence organizations implode.

    Pity we’re unwilling to do it.

    Note this is not a military conquest of Saudi Arabia–that would be impractical, and unnecessary. But one way or another the centralized and Saudi state, and the royal family, must be removed from power.

  4. Daniel McIntosh,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I was thinking along similar lines today.

    One of the realizations (assuming that books like Descent into Chaos [1] are correct) is the vital, institutional role of the ISI in promoting the Taliban. It’s striking that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays almost no role in Ahmed Rashid’s histories of jihad in central asia, except for their occasional expulsion of militants (who are funneled to the fight by the ISI) and their funding of madrassahs (which exist only because they are tolerated by Pakistan and the ISI).

    Otherwise, KSA operates analogously to the USA without an army — throwing money around, trying to buy local loyalty, but without the geographical proximity or on-the-ground knowledge to do much without the ISI’s approval.

    Purpleslog,

    A 4GW against militant Islam in Pakistan? I think that’s the sort of situation in which Boyd would suggest ‘switching sides’!

    Perhaps more appropriate are either a ‘state-without’ 5GW [2], or simply the dismantling of the ISI.

    [1] http://www.amazon.com/Descent-into-Chaos-Building-Afghanistan/dp/0670019704
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/08/01/kinds-of-5gw.html

  5. Michael,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Depends on who’s doing it. In the case of India, a good place to start would be making apologies for their side of the partition blood shed while inviting (even aiding) those Muslims who wish to come home to do so and prosecuting Hindu fundamentalist violence.

    I’m not sure why India would want to welcome back radicalized Islamists. India’s Muslims are remarkably peaceful and integrated. Overthrowing that merely spreads the instability of Pakistan even further.

    Further, such a plan would be a dream for the radicals, as they could export both jihadis and the educated, leaving Pakistan even more poor, more backward, more disconnected, and more radical.

    Nor am I sure why “apologies” (which just further plays into the backwards and stupid Muslim focus on ‘justice’) are a way forward.

  6. Depends on how it was handled. If they had an impersonal bureaucracy handling the visits (and for some survivors of the partition, that’s all it would be–they’ve had several decades to start new lives in Pakistan) and repatriation, there would be a real risk of being used as a railroad for jihadis. If they took the time to give personal attention to the repatriotees, that risk would be reduced.

    “Nor am I sure why “apologies” (which just further plays into the backwards and stupid Muslim focus on ‘justice’) are a way forward.”

    Two reason come readily to mind.
    1) While you’re right about India- in general- being ok towards Muslims, there are pockets where relations are more strained.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayodhya
    2) Justice runs both ways. If a Pakistani cares about justice and sees India bending over backwards to acknowledge past wrongdoings and to respect their Muslim minority, he or she will have to ask why the government in Islamabad isn’t doing the same.

    What’s 5GW about all this? Improving cultural and economic ties (they’ve been working on the latter for a while, as I recall) decreases Pakistan’s overall disconnectivity.

  7. If they took the time to give personal attention to the repatriotees, that risk would be reduced.

    Only a marginal amount to still unacceptable levels.

    1) While you’re right about India- in general- being ok towards Muslims, there are pockets where relations are more strained.

    Yes, so why do you propose a plan that will aggrevate this?

    2) Justice runs both ways. If a Pakistani cares about justice and sees India bending over backwards to acknowledge past wrongdoings and to respect their Muslim minority, he or she will have to ask why the government in Islamabad isn’t doing the same.

    Indians are already wondering why the government in Islamabad isn’t “doing the same,” as India does not sponsor mass terrorism inside Pakistan, while Pakistan does inside India.

    Regardless, India is a globalizing economy, not a backwards-looking honor-bound Muslim state. Even if you could, why would you want Indians to be as backwards-looking as Pakistan?

    What’s 5GW about all this? Improving cultural and economic ties (they’ve been working on the latter for a while, as I recall) decreases Pakistan’s overall disconnectivity.

    Yes, but if a country or culture cannot handle content flows, this ramps ramps up friction, violence, etc.

    India is too important to sacrificed on the altar of Pakistan, or of “justice.”

  8. “Only a marginal amount to still unacceptable levels.”

    But how much increased would it be from the levels it’s already at?

    “Yes, so why do you propose a plan that will aggrevate this?”

    Why do you think it will be aggravated?

    “Indians are already wondering why the government in Islamabad isn’t “doing the same,” as India does not sponsor mass terrorism inside Pakistan, while Pakistan does inside India.”

    But are the Pakistanis aware?

    “Regardless, India is a globalizing economy, not a backwards-looking honor-bound Muslim state. Even if you could, why would you want Indians to be as backwards-looking as Pakistan?”

    Compare the populations of India and Pakistan. Take into account that only certain ethnic groups within Pakistan would be invited and that the backward ones within those groups probably won’t want to leave.

  9. Michael,

    But how much increased would it be from the levels it’s already at?

    Considering that the Pakistani’s have no problems killing major their own leaders [1] and have organized attacks against the government of India [2], the reason that the Indian government is still living appears to be a function of the inability of Pakistani militants to operate behind Indian lines. Suggesting that millionsof Pakistanis be invited to move behind lines provides a population that may support the guerrillas. Considering the remarkably peaceful state of present Indian Muslims (that is, those who did not reject federalism and secularism during the partition), disturbing that by inviting millions of refuseniks and their descendents is unconscionably dangerous.

    Why do you think it will be aggravated?

    A policy designed specifically to increase the Muslim population of India, with the predictably result of increasing the fraction of Indian Muslims who support militancy, is not aggrevation?

    But are the Pakistanis aware?

    Aware of what? Aware of sponsoring freedom fighters in Kashmir? Obviously. Aware of the disasterous Kargill incident which was an unprovoked Pakistani attack on India? Obviously? (Musharraf, who was behidn it, deflected blame and used it as an excuse of overthrowing the democratic elected government.)

    Compare the populations of India and Pakistan. Take into account that only certain ethnic groups within Pakistan would be invited and that the backward ones within those groups probably won’t want to leave.

    I didn’t realize that your plan was racialist as well. Which ethnicities are you excluding?

    Certianly for the plan to be functional, it’d make sense to keep out Punjabs, Pasthuns, Sindhis, Seraikis, Muhajirs, Baluchs, and Kashmirs. That leave whats… the Shia, Christians, and remnant Greek pagans?

    [1] http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/12/benazir-bhutto-assassinated-up/
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Indian_Parliament_attack

  10. “Considering that the Pakistani’s have no problems killing major their own leaders [1] and have organized attacks against the government of India [2], the reason that the Indian government is still living appears to be a function of the inability of Pakistani militants to operate behind Indian lines. Suggesting that millionsof Pakistanis be invited to move behind lines provides a population that may support the guerrillas. Considering the remarkably peaceful state of present Indian Muslims (that is, those who did not reject federalism and secularism during the partition), disturbing that by inviting millions of refuseniks and their descendents is unconscionably dangerous.”

    How many of them would actually move, though? As I said earlier, many will have developed new lives in Pakistan. Some will have developed a fondness for Pakistan, new lives or no. Some won’t want to live amongst Hindus. With the remaining, putting in the effort to make sure each returnee gets individual attention (limiting numbers allowed each year, if necessary) makes it easier to spot potential trouble (including infiltrators).

    “A policy designed specifically to increase the Muslim population of India, with the predictably result of increasing the fraction of Indian Muslims who support militancy, is not aggrevation?”

    Not if coupled with efforts to fight both anti-Muslim and anti-Hindu violence.

    “Aware of what? Aware of sponsoring freedom fighters in Kashmir? Obviously. Aware of the disasterous Kargill incident which was an unprovoked Pakistani attack on India? Obviously? (Musharraf, who was behidn it, deflected blame and used it as an excuse of overthrowing the democratic elected government.)”

    Those would be good things to make them aware of, yes (Would they approve?). I had in mind, however, making them aware of Indian efforts to combat anti-Muslim violence, apologies for past wrong-doings and welcomes for those exilees who wish to return home. For those amongst them (desirous of return or not) who do care about justice, this should bring to mind the question of whether their government would do the same things for Hindus.

    “I didn’t realize that your plan was racialist as well. Which ethnicities are you excluding?”

    Not racialist. Just an observation that the most hard-core Islamists in Pakistan tend to be Pashtun or Baloch, neither of which group is present in India. As they didn’t come from India, they wouldn’t have anything in India to return to and no invitation awaiting them. Offering asylum to Shiites and other victims of sectarian violence within Pakistan wouldn’t be a bad idea, either, for the above reasons.

    The point of this suggestion is a 5GW campaign of loving one’s enemies. Of showing them the mercy, justice and compassion their own government has not, thereby forcing said government to improve its game if it wants to hold onto power.

  11. Michael,

    How many of them would actually move, though? As I said earlier, many will have developed new lives in Pakistan. Some will have developed a fondness for Pakistan, new lives or no. Some won’t want to live amongst Hindus. With the remaining, putting in the effort to make sure each returnee gets individual attention (limiting numbers allowed each year, if necessary) makes it easier to spot potential trouble (including infiltrators).

    I agree that the pool of those who wish to move to India will be generally abnormal, alienated, and dangerous.

    The worthless of the plan, combined with the large number of problems with it, keeps me confused as to why you are pushing it.

    Not if coupled with efforts to fight both anti-Muslim and anti-Hindu violence.

    This is like saying a war doesn’t involve killing, if you couple it with a counter-insurgency.

    Those would be good things to make them aware of, yes (Would they approve?). I had in mind, however, making them aware of Indian efforts to combat anti-Muslim violence, apologies for past wrong-doings and welcomes for those exilees who wish to return home. For those amongst them (desirous of return or not) who do care about justice, this should bring to mind the question of whether their government would do the same things for Hindus.

    I did not express my point clearly.

    The Pakistanis are already aware of these actions.

    Those would be good things to make them aware of, yes (Would they approve?). I had in mind, however, making them aware of Indian efforts to combat anti-Muslim violence, apologies for past wrong-doings and welcomes for those exiles who wish to return home. For those amongst them (desirous of return or not) who do care about justice, this should bring to mind the question of whether their government would do the same things for Hindus.

    So your plan specifically invites those in who have ties to specific grievances against India (Punjabis, etc)?

    This is a bizarre plan. There are no benefits from implementation. All you can offer are assurances is that if we really try hard enough, we can avoid some of the disasterous consequences that would naturally flow from it.

    The point of this suggestion is a 5GW campaign of loving one’s enemies. Of showing them the mercy, justice and compassion their own government has not, thereby forcing said government to improve its game if it wants to hold onto power.

    I assume you are throwing around buzzwords, as this makes no sense.

  12. “I agree that the pool of those who wish to move to India will be generally abnormal, alienated, and dangerous.”
    One minute, you seem to think the Pakistanis are largely a bunch of militant Islamist wackos. Now, you’re saying that the Pakistanis who would want to move to India are alienated from their brethren and dangerous to the Indians, which would suggest that the majority left behind AREN’T militant wackos. Care to clarify?

    “The worthless of the plan, combined with the large number of problems with it, keeps me confused as to why you are pushing it.”
    Simple, you haven’t convinced me that it’s worthless yet.

    “This is like saying a war doesn’t involve killing, if you couple it with a counter-insurgency.”
    No, it’s saying that this plan wouldn’t be surrender to their enemies. I’ve been tired the past few days, but I don’t THINK I’ve been so tired as to think this process would be bloodless.

    “The Pakistanis are already aware of these actions.”
    They’re aware of things the Indian government hasn’t done yet? Wow, are we sure we want to mess with a bunch of precognitives? 🙂
    I’m not concerned with what they know about past wrongdoings, I’m concerned with what they find out about future rightdoings.

    “So your plan specifically invites those in who have ties to specific grievances against India (Punjabis, etc)? ”

    Yes. To throw out a buzz phrase from Star Trek VI, Only Nixon can go to China.

    “I assume you are throwing around buzzwords, as this makes no sense.”
    No more so than when you published a book comparing early Christian teachings to Generational Warfare theory (btw, haven’t read it yet, I’m waiting until I can print it on a duplex printer). I’m not saying the Indians shouldn’t defend themselves against radicals (of any stripe) or the Pakistani government. I am saying they should make strive to make themselves of value to the Pakistani people themselves, both to raise the bar for the Pakistani government and to increase the odds of being able to take over should Islamabad fail.

  13. One minute, you seem to think the Pakistanis are largely a bunch of militant Islamist wackos. Now, you’re saying that the Pakistanis who would want to move to India are alienated from their brethren and dangerous to the Indians, which would suggest that the majority left behind AREN’T militant wackos. Care to clarify?

    1. Pakistanis are much more likely to support (verbally, politically, and in terms of materiel) tererorists than either the general Indian population or the general Indian Muslim population
    2. In general, those who are willing to leave their country have a weak system of social supports.

    These factors do not cancel each other out — they compound the danger.

    No, it’s saying that this plan wouldn’t be surrender to their enemies.

    You can’t deny a claim by reciting a true but unrelated fact

    Your plan aggrevates the social and political situation in India, but you propose stronger policing as a remedy to this. First you said that this aggrevation wouldn’t exist, because of the response to it that will be put into place. Now you’re saying that this aggrevation won’t exist, because you won’t surrender. Your second exlanation makes even less sense than your first.

    I’m not concerned with what they know about past wrongdoings, I’m concerned with what they find out about future rightdoings.

    First you said “a good place to start would be making apologies for their side of the partition blood,” but now you don’t care what they know about the past! [1]. The plan is either incoherent or has been changed in the explaining.

    Yes. To throw out a buzz phrase from Star Trek VI, Only Nixon can go to China.

    You can’t justify a plan by citing a worthless cliche. And the cliche doesn’t even work at the same level of analysis!

    I am saying they should make strive to make themselves of value to the Pakistani people themselves, both to raise the bar for the Pakistani government and to increase the odds of being able to take over should Islamabad fail.

    Why is Pakistan worth absorbing? It would be far more valuable to India as a client state.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/07/25/our-diverted-war-against-pakistan.html#comment-112176

  14. About the Pakistan and India Conflict

    Possible solutions to the issue of Kashmir would be: “convert the Line of Control to an international Border, divide it into territories along religious lines – the Muslim valley to Pakistan, Hindu Jammu and Buddist Ladakh to India, independence to Kashmir as a free nation” (Kashmir). The dispute between the two countries over Kashmir has been endured for years by all three (Kashmir, India and Pakistan). I am not one to point figures at any race or anybody with different color than myself, I don’t lay blame to just one particular set of people, but I do believe in a culture being more ethically correct over another. In this case I believe that Pakistan holds the better ethical views of Kashmir than India does. Pakistan wants Kashmir to be free people and for the people themselves of Kashmir to decided on their future. India wants to have control over Kashmir and permanently wants to make Kashmir as their own, without taking in the consideration of the Kashmir people. On numerous occasions Pakistan has proposed settlements on the issues at hand, but on numerous occasions India has not gotten back to them on the matter. It stands as this India and Pakistan have undergone three wars since the 1900’s and now even though tensions have eased up a bit, there are still some altercations on the matter of Kashmir. “On 5 December 2006, President Musharraf, in an interview with India’s NDTV, said that Pakistan would withdraw troops and guarantee self-governance for Kashmiris if India accepted his peace proposals. The Indian Foreign Ministry responded by saying that it could agree as long as the borders were rendered “irrelevant.” The response among was generally positive but cautious because India and Pakistan have been in negotiations on-and-off for years that have yet to come to a conclusion” (“Military”). That conclusion is still standing to this day.

  15. YOU ALL ARE LIVING IN DREAMS. so please wake up ! learn about islam and then coment upon ISLAM. i give u all challenge that if u read THE QURAN, and the hadith of prophet MUHAMMAD,all of your views will change.and you will also accept that ISLAM is the true way of life.

    AND another thing PAKISTAN is not a pice of cake, if you think so than come we will show you!!!

  16. Pakistani Musalman, and Amanda,

    Coming Anarchy discusses Kashmir and Obama. [1] It is worth a ready.

    Since Russia invaded Georgia [2] the world’s priorities have shifted, and Pakistani is now mostly important to the extent that it does not distract from more important issues (the growth of India, the containment of Russia, etc).

    [1] http://cominganarchy.com/2008/11/23/finallykashmir/
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/10/8808-like-8290-and-91101.html

  17. Your Diverted War Against Pakistan, thats it! thats the best you guys could come up with, is war really the only thing you all see beyond your borders. oh! i almost forgot, America is a super power, you guys can do anything you want, who are we to stand in your way anyway. unleash your might and destroy the whole world, this is the only thing you all are good at. and this is with referance to the person who came up with this bright idea, there is a famous saying ” talk sense “, it does not only include talking, but thinking also, so this goes to you, ” talk sense and think sense “.

  18. The assault on Bombay is clarifying, not just for the carnage caused by south-asian muslim terrorists [1,2,3,4,5], but also Pakistan’s reaction [6]:

    There were signs of renewed tension between the two countries today after Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian positions along the line of control in Kashmir. It was the second ceasefire violation in less than 24 hours, a senior army officer said today.

    Unlike Russia, Pakistan is a regional problem. Saving Pakistan is a lower-order priority than helping India (of course), or even containing Russia. It’s not a problem to ‘destroy the whole world’ — merely one with the obvious implications of limiting the freedom of movement of Pakistanis around the world, treating the Pakistani government as some form of protectorship, etc…

    [1] http://soobdujour.blogspot.com/2008/11/bolt-on-mumbai-crisis.html
    [2] http://thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2008/11/on_the_motives_in_mumbai.html
    [3] http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/11/mumbai_attack_most_significant_1.asp
    [4] http://zenpundit.com/?p=2945
    [5] http://naxaliterage.com/?p=137
    [6] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/28/india-pakistan

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