Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Militants torch Afghan supplies

  1. #1
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Militants torch Afghan supplies

    From the BBC:

    More than 90 lorries supplying Western forces in Afghanistan have been set on fire in a suspected militant attack in north-west Pakistan, police say.

    Police said at least one person was killed as more than 250 gunmen using rockets overpowered the guards at a terminal near the city of Peshawar.

    Almost 75% of all supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan come through Pakistan, the majority through Peshawar.
    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Militants torch Afghan supplies

    IMO, this is a very serious issue that, if not corrected, could have strategic military implications for the ongoing fight to stabilize and secure Afghanistan for several reasons:

    1. Post-Musharraf Pakistan is a slowly decaying state. Central power is eroding; the relative position of radical Islamist elements e.g., the Taliban is increasing in the emerging vacuum being created by receding centralized power.

    2. U.S. failure to support former President Musharraf has helped to further demoralize Pakistan's military. Its reduced counterterrorism operations suggest the military is less willing to run large risks for the U.S.

    3. If the resupply problems persist, the U.S. and NATO could eventually face a tough choice between trying to secure key areas in Pakistan on their own--and government permission would all but certainly not be forthcoming--or shifting resupply centers outside of Pakistan (a very difficult logistics challenge). A gradual but steady shift to supply alternatives from outside of Pakistan would make sense.

    4. In coming weeks and perhaps longer, Pakistan's weakening government will almost certainly place priority on risk management with India in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Pakistan has a vital interest in avoiding war with India. This shifting of priorities could further free up the proverbial playing field for the radical Islamists.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 12-07-08 at 10:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Libertarian socialist

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Staffs, England
    Last Seen
    12-01-17 @ 11:26 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Very Liberal
    Posts
    6,730

    Re: Militants torch Afghan supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    From the BBC:



    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Militants torch Afghan supplies

    IMO, this is a very serious issue that, if not corrected, could have strategic military implications for the ongoing fight to stabilize and secure Afghanistan for several reasons:

    1. Post-Musharraf Pakistan is a slowly decaying state. Central power is eroding; the relative position of radical Islamist elements e.g., the Taliban is increasing in the emerging vacuum being created by receding centralized power.

    2. U.S. failure to support former President Musharraf has helped to further demoralize Pakistan's military. Its reduced counterterrorism operations suggest the military is less willing to run large risks for the U.S.

    3. If the resupply problems persist, the U.S. and NATO could eventually face a tough choice between trying to secure key areas in Pakistan on their own--and government permission would all but certainly not be forthcoming--or shifting resupply centers outside of Pakistan (a very difficult logistics challenge). A gradual but steady shift to supply alternatives from outside of Pakistan would make sense.

    4. In coming weeks and perhaps longer, Pakistan's weakening government will almost certainly place priority on risk management with India in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Pakistan has a vital interest in avoiding war with India. This shifting of priorities could further free up the proverbial playing field for the radical Islamists.
    Is this a result of the demise of Musuraf though? The Pakistani army was already loseing the war when he was in power. Theres also a very machiavellian streek in the OP, it seams to surgest that what was important was not how good a leader Musuraf was for Pakistan [which is debateable given he tortured his own people] but whether he was on your side. Which is argueably the attitude that got us all into this situation in the first place.
    Last edited by Red_Dave; 12-07-08 at 06:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Militants torch Afghan supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Dave View Post
    Is this a result of the demise of Musuraf though? The Pakistani army was already loseing the war when he was in power. Theres also a very machiavellian streek in the OP, it seams to surgest that what was important was not how good a leader Musuraf was for Pakistan [which is debateable given he tortured his own people] but whether he was on your side. Which is argueably the attitude that got us all into this situation in the first place.
    Things would have been a modestly better under President Musharraf than they are at present in terms of the security situation. That does not mean they would have been good. My view is that an effort that helped shore up President Musharraf in the near-term coupled with a framework that allowed for a gradual transition from Musharraf's rule to democratic rule during which Pakistan would develop the necessary institutional structure would have been the ideal course.

    Pakistan's problems are long-running. They stem from a society that is fragmented along ethnic/tribal lines, lacks the political, legal, and economic institutions to sustain democratic governance (the history of coups reflects the lack of Pakistan's institutional development), and is located in a region in which radical Islamist terrorist entities are operating. In that environment, merely holding elections does not mean a state is democratic. In fact, in the absence of sufficient institutional frameworks, elections have led to undemocratic outcomes e.g., in the Gaza Strip whereby the Hamas terrorist group gained political power and then used its position to seize total control of the Gaza Strip by force.

    Finally, all nations' policies are geared toward their own interests. In the short-term, maintaining a stable partner in Pakistan who offered some modest positive results was in the U.S. national interest. In the longer-run, a gradual transition that would have allowed Pakistan to evolve toward a condition in which it could sustain democratic self-rule was both imperative and in the interests of both the U.S. and Pakistan's people.

    A decaying state is not in the interests of Pakistan's people and state failure does not necessarily enhance the prospects of democratic rule. State failure can have devastating consequences. Somalia is one example of a failed state.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 12-07-08 at 08:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Last Seen
    12-26-10 @ 06:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    8,083

    Re: Militants torch Afghan supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Things would have been a modestly better under President Musharraf than they are at present in terms of the security situation. That does not mean they would have been good. My view is that an effort that helped shore up President Musharraf in the near-term coupled with a framework that allowed for a gradual transition from Musharraf's rule to democratic rule during which Pakistan would develop the necessary institutional structure would have been the ideal course.
    I agree with this assessment. The Pakistani people ultimately did not want a military dictator and this led to further societal fragmentation, leading to individual militaristic groups, and pro-democracy movements such as the one lead by Benazir Bhutto. It only created further turmoil. Furthermore, Musharraf himself was implicated in helping the Taliban, so it would have been a wiser choice to help Pakistan transition to a democracy still loyal to the U.S. I can understand why the U.S. would not do this though... because a single leader is much easier to deal with than a parliamentary system.

    The tribal regions were already destabilizing under Musharraf's rule, but once U.S. support began to wane, the situation deteriorated further. The Taliban is going to gain more power in those areas if security measures are not undertaken, and I can sympathize with NATO's position in this mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Pakistan's problems are long-running. They stem from a society that is fragmented along ethnic/tribal lines, lacks the political, legal, and economic institutions to sustain democratic governance (the history of coups reflects the lack of Pakistan's institutional development), and is located in a region in which radical Islamist terrorist entities are operating. In that environment, merely holding elections does not mean a state is democratic. In fact, in the absence of sufficient institutional frameworks, elections have led to undemocratic outcomes e.g., in the Gaza Strip whereby the Hamas terrorist group gained political power and then used its position to seize total control of the Gaza Strip by force.
    I agree that at this point a democracy in Pakistan would mostly be symbolic since the will of people cannot currently translate into democratic action. That said, it would still be a step forward... right now a lot of people in Pakistan feel completely disillusioned with their government and this is causing further divisions in society. At least if there was a symbolic foot being put forward, it might create some cohesion among the people. Right now there is just a lot of shouting from various interest groups but not a great deal of organization. Maybe with a properly elected democracy, more people would rally behind a single cause: their government. This would definitely take power away from the special interest groups and even the terrorist regimes, and give it back to a stabilizing force.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Finally, all nations' policies are geared toward their own interests. In the short-term, maintaining a stable partner in Pakistan who offered some modest positive results was in the U.S. national interest. In the longer-run, a gradual transition that would have allowed Pakistan to evolve toward a condition in which it could sustain democratic self-rule was both imperative and in the interests of both the U.S. and Pakistan's people.
    Ideally yes... but I do not believe that the U.S. was ultimately interested in Pakistan becoming a democracy; that prospect was generated by Pakistan's own people through pro-democracy movements. Now that the transition is happening in a very unstable way, we can look back in hindsight and say what the U.S. could have done differently, but I believe the democracy option was already considered from the get-go and was dismissed. Musharraf had control of the military and that was the principle interest... but now even that form of control is waning and, as you said, the military is becoming demoralized. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the security of the nation's future will be questionable. I am concerned about this due to Pakistan's nuclear status.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    A decaying state is not in the interests of Pakistan's people and state failure does not necessarily enhance the prospects of democratic rule. State failure can have devastating consequences. Somalia is one example of a failed state.
    I believe that if Pakistan deteriorates to the point of no return, then its outlying tribal regions will be lost to radical regimes and it would take significant resources (likely from the Western powers) to restore proper rule. Such intervention would be contingent upon the state of the military campaigns in Afghanistan. If the Western powers wish to continue the fight here, then Pakistan will inevitably have to be stabilized. I am also concerned that if such intervention is not realized soon enough, then Pakistan will become increasingly vulnerable to the aforementioned interest groups, and it could create potential for a nuclear standoff. If the West does nothing, then India will take it upon itself to do the leg work, which could be bad news.

  5. #5
    Libertarian socialist

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Staffs, England
    Last Seen
    12-01-17 @ 11:26 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Very Liberal
    Posts
    6,730

    Re: Militants torch Afghan supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Things would have been a modestly better under President Musharraf than they are at present in terms of the security situation. That does not mean they would have been good. My view is that an effort that helped shore up President Musharraf in the near-term coupled with a framework that allowed for a gradual transition from Musharraf's rule to democratic rule during which Pakistan would develop the necessary institutional structure would have been the ideal course.

    Pakistan's problems are long-running. They stem from a society that is fragmented along ethnic/tribal lines, lacks the political, legal, and economic institutions to sustain democratic governance (the history of coups reflects the lack of Pakistan's institutional development), and is located in a region in which radical Islamist terrorist entities are operating. In that environment, merely holding elections does not mean a state is democratic. In fact, in the absence of sufficient institutional frameworks, elections have led to undemocratic outcomes e.g., in the Gaza Strip whereby the Hamas terrorist group gained political power and then used its position to seize total control of the Gaza Strip by force.

    Finally, all nations' policies are geared toward their own interests. In the short-term, maintaining a stable partner in Pakistan who offered some modest positive results was in the U.S. national interest. In the longer-run, a gradual transition that would have allowed Pakistan to evolve toward a condition in which it could sustain democratic self-rule was both imperative and in the interests of both the U.S. and Pakistan's people.

    A decaying state is not in the interests of Pakistan's people and state failure does not necessarily enhance the prospects of democratic rule. State failure can have devastating consequences. Somalia is one example of a failed state.
    Again ild like to see concrete evidence that the islamists in pakistan have prospered as a result of the decline of Musharraf. If anything ild imagine the presence of an courrupt authoritarian regime would bost their recruitment as was the case for the islamists in Iran under the shah. Historically tyranical governments have done wonders for any extreamist group that opposes them. For example the Kosovo Liberation Army boycoted elections that could have removed Milosevic because they where unlikely to achieve their goals unless Serbian rule was as brutal as possible.

    Now that Musharrafs influence is waneing there is a possibility that the democraticly elected parliament can fill the gap, this could even mean that people in Pakistan will no longer be tortured for criticising their government. Though i expect the prospect of those in the third world running their own countrys [as in Venuzuela and Bolvia] is what really worrys you.

    I accept that most nations foriegn policys are geared towards their interests but surely there is some sort of moral limit. Japanese imperialism would have been in the interests of Japan had it been successful.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •