Monday, November 12, 2007

Testing the Democracy Assumption

Howard La Franchi writes about the options the U.S. may have in Pakistan beyond Pervez Musharraf, and gathers together some of the Washington expert opinion on the subject.

In the middle of the piece, there is this assumption put forward: "A Pakistan free of political turmoil, and with the public satisfied that democratrization is proceeding, is more likely to support US policies in the region."

Really? That to me seems like a very big if. 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 understand the point that is being made--that all U.S. eggs cannot be placed in the Musharraf basket--but I also don't have any illusions that the majority of Pakistanis are preapred to trade away what they see as fundamental interests in order to end U.S. support for Musharraf.

Thought the point about Sharif was important--that there are many politicians who will not see the world "through Washington's lenses". Even Bhutto can only go so far, and I don't think she could go further than Musharraf has done.
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