Howdy folks! We have some interesting breaking news as of today, the 26th – before I get into my rough analysis of the situation, please consider browsing my archives! While they are a little messy and don’t properly walk back and forth (from post to post) they’re there, I put work into them, and I’d love to have your thoughts! A few suggestions before the jump:
- My initial read on the Occupy Movement on October 7th
- The sum-up post for the drysift saga (concluding post due later this week. No, drysift did not show to the debate)
- Vintage Dougem – Barack’s inauguration
Also after the jump and at the end of the analysis, a few production notes. That’s incentive for you people to click the darned read more button! ;p
So this is a tricky situation all round. Those of you late to the party, this will be all the more confusing but bear with me. A few important bullet points going in:
- Afghanistan borders Pakistan
- Pakistan has been our “ally” throughout the war on terror
- Relations have been growing steadily rocky with time
- The main supply line for our troops in Afghanistan cuts through Pakistan (land trucking route)
- Pakistan has long harbored Taliban training camps
To put it as bluntly as possible, the United States and Pakistan are no longer friends. This incident is another underscoring to a slowly deteriorating relationship. Drone strikes have been a point of contention for them, and for us their toeing the fine line of harboring terrorists and attacking them has been a long standing problem.
The situation in Pakistan is what I label one of the potential ‘sparks’ for a blowup in the larger region. It’s important to note that India and Pakistan despise one another – and both possess nuclear weapons. Pakistan resents our positive relations with India, and at times is paranoid that we will feed Pakistani state secrets to India. Pushed along with a steadily growing radical Islamist penetration into the Pakistani military, national sentiment is turning against the west.
It’s an ugly situation all-round. The US has never really sternly pushed against Pakistan’s collusion with radical Islamist terrorist groups. Our policy makers made yet another deal with the devil with a dictator in pursuit of a regional coalition against terrorism – a deal that never allowed us to fully chase terrorist elements and destroy them. Much like in Iraq where insurgents constantly fled to the Syrian border for safe haven, the same happens with the Taliban in Pakistan. Pakistan will not let our troops operate on their soil, citing national sovereignty.
The US needs to take a much stronger stance, and soon. Pakistan has shut off our supply line, instantly putting considerable pressure on troops in Afghanistan. Critical pieces in play are Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and our ability to effectively chase and destroy the Taliban while we still have considerable forces in the region. This situation must be handled in some way or another very very soon.
At this point, it’s very likely we will either operate in Pakistani territory with a ‘deal with it’ attitude or we will be forced to withdraw entirely. Shooting will happen, and one would hope that our side will not back down. Pakistan has been bullying and blustering for a very long time – we can not abed their behavior any longer, and we cannot tolerate showing such weakness in the face of saber rattling anymore.
We need to either deal with the situation now, or leave.
Why so hardline? Folks – I see a major regional middle eastern war taking place within the next year or two, if not sooner. The pieces are lining up, enough governments are teetering, and tension is skyrocketing. Our military is stretched very very thin, and is standing to have it’s budget cut significantly. True to form, pentagon brass is going to cut in the most damaging areas rather then where true cuts need to take place in an attempt to garner sympathy and get their way (gee, a lot like city govenments threatening police and fire first!). A major war in the middle east right now will suck the US in at a time when we are very strained and weak.
Our military is the best on the planet, but our best troops are exhausted from long deployments, the reserves and the national guard have been abused as bolsters for the army, and those serving are simply being overused. If we get serious in a middle eastern war, I wouldn’t put it beyond the government to re-institute a draft or shift into severe wartime stance out of necessity.
Wars are an awfully convenient way to handle internal turmoil, after all. And with our current economic situation, this card is now fairly in play. It’s happened before.
Alarmist, I know. But these are strange and unusual times, and this is one of those lovely phases in history where strange things can just happen.
Now that I’ve gone all doom and gloomy, some happy things!
I will try to visit Occupy San Diego tomorrow. I’ve visited twice since my exchange with drysift – first reception was very positive. Second, things were very tense, and the police gently but firmly shooed me along. I’m hoping weekends are more ‘friendly’. I have to note things were much cleaner – but I suspect the city, not occupy, handled the clean up. I’m still open to being shown and proven otherwise.
The next podcast is tentatively scheduled for this friday at 8pm. I am accepting any and all topic ideas, so please leave comments!
That’s it for now. Also, as stated above, drysift didn’t show. I wouldn’t be surprised if we never hear from/about them again. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on them, and some insight into my debate tactics later this week.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend and keep safe – and as always, keep a sharp skeptical eyes on the news.
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EDIT 6/10/13: Light polishing