Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Just Admit It is a Gamble
Yes, it could happen. But it is a gamble. Democratization in Pakistan might bring such benefits, but just as likely not. So it would be nice to see commentators accept that this is a gamble and there are a number of variables at play.
(I am also tired of the World War II analogy translated into the claim that in the 21st cenutry all democracies see eye to eye on coping with terrorism and Islamic radicalism. Remember, three European democracies--Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland--were neutral in the Second World War--and Finland was an Axis ally.)
in my opinion, about the likely willingness of a more democratic Pakistan to embrace and even expand upon the U.S. security agenda for the region.
Well, the "US security agenda" is a large phrase, but our core interest is in not having Al-Queida attack the United States.
If we provide key assistance to a new democratic government in Pakistan, they have the same reasons to work to prevent Al-Quieda attacks on us as Musharraf does.
The Pakistani public will support taking on greater burdens in fighting Al-Qaeda, including heavier casualties? Conceding control over Kashmir to India (in order to get Washington off the hook on that issue?)
I see your point, but this can be mitigated through perceptions management. In other words, if the Al-Quieda rump in Pakistan thinks that a new, democratic Pakistan will be more intolerant of it, it will probably attack that government first. Those attacks would likely polarize any new government against local Islamic militants.
No government likes being bombed, and we haven't often seen Islamic militants in Pakistan use subtler approaches.
It's the Pakistani military that sees Islamic militancy as a useful tool, I think.