Monday, September 26, 2011

Central Asian Rocket Science

Of all the things that frustrate me about our current adventure in Afghanistan, perhaps the most frustrating is listening to the various D.C. talking heads bloviate about Pakistan.The latest was ADM Mullen, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who laid stick on the Pakistani ISI for supposedly assisting in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. But this has been a constant theme for years. Chris Hitchens gives us a taste of the 180-proof version of this rhetoric, the pure, undiluted, GOP-stillhuse hootch in his latest Slate column, and, yes, I know it's fucking Slate.


Why does this bug me?

Because I'm a relatively unlettered hairy-knuckled sergeant, a spearcarrying nobody from the Northwest. My entire first-hand geopolitical and global political experience consists of having watched Egyptian border cops and Israeli reservists make fist-pumping gestures at each other across the wire at Taba.

And I fucking know that the Pakistanis care more about their military position with India than any-fucking-thing else in Southwest Asia.Including "terrorism" and the damn Taliban.

The whole POINT behind their coziness with many of the people we're shooting in the hustings of central Asia is that the Taliban regime was anti-Indian, and their remnants are, too. The Karzaites we've installed in Kabul are not, and so the Pakis REAL problem, their single most crucial concern is ensuring that they have a lever to pressure Kabul into having their back if they get into another scrap with India.

So the rule of thumb is; don't bet on Pakistan Facebook-friending your Afghan proxy if that proxy shows signs of "friending" India.

For conventional wisdom that one ranks right up there with "never get involved in a land war in Asia."


Anyway, the frustrating thing is that the rhetoric coming out of D.C. hits the same note; why, why, WHY are you so naughty, Pakistan? What can we do/what must we do to make you stop hugging these nasty terrorists? Why don't you give us more geopolitical love?

Well, duh.The Durand Rule is If You Let Your Afghan Proxy Get Close To India Don't Expect Much Cooperation From Pakistan.

I can figure this out.

Why can't all these highly paid people in D.C.?

I don't know, but every time I run across it it's really frustrating.

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