– By Omar
Going from bad to worse? It seems that tragedy is turning into farce. Pakistan should do something quickly to help the US before the US loses the war (see below). Pakistan’s rational and far-sighted response may now be America’s best hope!
Many of my Pakistani friends are happy because they think this is a zero-sum game: what is bad for the US is good for Pakistan. I disagree. First of all, I dont think the US is done yet. Confused, yes. Done? probably not.
But even if we imagine that everything goes downhill for the US from now onwards and they eventually pull out defeated, it is not likely to be a fatal blow (Some Paknationalists imagine a Soviet Union scenario, but their knowledge and analysis are both terribly off in this case). The US, while chastened and shocked (as after Vietnam?) will not be seriously wounded by defeat in Afghanistan; What happens to the economy at home will be far more crucial than what happens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, neither of which have a big role in the economy, and the role they do have is entirely negative.
Pakistan is another matter. I dont think stoppage of US aid is going to be a necessarily fatal problem (severe sanctions are another matter, but maybe China can prevent those?). And the inevitable military coup (perhaps a “hidden one” in which a civilian caretaker regime is installed by the army) may even lead to a temporary improvement in administration in the core region for a while; but this “victory” will not solve deep seated problems in the structure and direction of the state. In fact, it will likely make them worse as the jihadi faction starts looking for a victory dividend. In any case, Afghanistan will erupt in open civil war and that will suck us into all kinds of trouble. Even in the best case scenario, it will be very tough. In the worst case scenario, we may collapse before the last American takes off from the embassy roof. The risks in case of “victory” are enormous.
Does this mean that someone in Pakistan will in fact sort out the confusion and help the US out just to save itself? While that may appear logical, it does not appear likely. This is a genuine mess. The kind where nobody is sure what will happen next.
A joke from the nineties suddenly appears to be prescient: Nawaz Sharif was portrayed as something of a simpleton, getting by on the advice of his shrewd father (abba ji). Here is the joke:
Nawaz Sharif: Abba ji, the economy is in terrible shape and nothing is working. What can we do now?
Abba ji: Son, there is only one solution. Start a war with America. They will bomb the country and utterly destroy it. Then they will occupy us and launch a Marshall plan and we will be rebuilt with their money. Look how rich Japan and Germany have become after losing a war to America.
Nawaz Sharif: But abba ji, what if we win?
PS: the “all parties conference” in Pakistan has just released its resolution. They seem to agree with me. Who knows, the corrupt elite may have enough self-awareness to sneak out of this one ….
Notice that Pakistan is opening up trade with India. We delayed an American victory in Afghanistan for 10 years because we dont want Indian influence in Afghanistan. We dont want Indian influence in Afghanistan because the Indians are our eternal enemies. Now the Americans are threatening us, so we are going to make peace with India to relieve pressure on the economy. When we are friends with India, will we still need to deny them “influence” in Afghanistan? Inquiring minds want to know….
Courtesy: → BrownPundits