Thursday, November 08, 2007
Musharraf guarantees that parliamentary elections would be held by February 15, 2008 and that he would "take off the uniform" and solely be chief executive. This would probably clear the way for General Asfaq Kayani to become the chief of the military--and would ensure a certain degree of continuity in policy.
So now the tests:
I assume that Saakashvili's decision will be welcomed by Washington that was hoping to avoid a scenario where the final "color revolution" came to a crashing halt. The opposition may decide that they've gained a way to break the near-stranglehold on power that Saakashvili and his National Movement currently have--and so the crisis may recede.
In Pakistan, would this announcement be sufficient for Bhutto and her supporters--and would it break apart a nascent opposition coalition that was building up in the last week? The pledge would also give some cover for the Bush Administration since there would be a timetable for elections.
I can't figure out exactly what is preventing political compromise in Pakistan, but public evidence so far suggests that there is some kind of structural inability of the current Pakistan power structure to accept power-sharing. I expect that backsliding will occur here as it has in the past.
Russia only benefits to the extent that there is disruption.