Pakistan/Afghanistan long term? BBC1s Panorama

#1
Along with other recent topics of conversation including Afghanistan/Iraq PRT/rebuilding/conflicts & what the future has for this AOR, Pakistan is constantly rearing it's head with the Pakistan Government insisting they have a grip on the situation???, especially the Swat Valley area?

Bearing in mind Nato Forces have enough on their plate dealing with whats going on including the build up to the Aug elections in Helmand/Afghanistan being a complete nightmare, how long will it be before Nato has no other choice when diplomatic measures fail (realistic not optimistic) but to tackle Pakistan??

Taliban take on Islamabad, full story:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090408/twl-taliban-to-take-war-to-islamabad-41f21e0.html

Constructive views & comments please
 
#2
With the new president in the USA, the aim seems to be to look for allies, not enemies. At one point over the past 6 months, I did think India and the US would invade Pakistan. That appears to be off the cards now. I do not know enough to feel confident in saying more than that.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
I'm not sure we could do much that the Pakistanis aren't already doing. Apparently they've lost over 1000 KIA to Taliban insurgents.

It certainly doesn't sound as though they have things under control which doesn't mean to say they're losing the battle, just that insurgents are notoriously hard to beat.

Just like Afghan it's going to be a long haul.
 
#4
beemer007 said:
Along with other recent topics of conversation including Afghanistan/Iraq PRT/rebuilding/conflicts & what the future has for this AOR, Pakistan is constantly rearing it's head with the Pakistan Government insisting they have a grip on the situation???, especially the Swat Valley area?

Bearing in mind Nato Forces have enough on their plate dealing with whats going on including the build up to the Aug elections in Helmand/Afghanistan being a complete nightmare, how long will it be before Nato has no other choice when diplomatic measures fail (realistic not optimistic) but to tackle Pakistan??

Taliban take on Islamabad, full story:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090408/twl-taliban-to-take-war-to-islamabad-41f21e0.html

Constructive views & comments please
I think you will find NATO's attitude is that its nothing to do with the non Anglo bits of NATO (apart from the Danes, Estonians, Poles and probably the Romulans).

If Pakistan implodes as many believe it will then I think that NATO will disengage from the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan. Any forward policy into Pakistan will be US led with only a few rather reluctant Allies in tow.

Do remember that the Afghan Pakistan border has no historical significance to the locals, its one of our constructs designed to give the Pakistan side the best defensive terrain should Imperial Russia have ever had rolled south to attack British India.

Could the break up of Pakistan be on the cards?...Yes and in many ways its about time, the Pashtun should really have their own Country created out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The other various ethnic groupings of Pakistan will probably go independant, the more rational ones seeking good relations with India.

But lets not forget the Nukes, its highly likely that at least one warhead has been stashed away from the official storage zone just in case the US decided to remove that problem from the chessboard.

At least one of the 30-40 they have.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#5
For a good insight into the recent political situation in Pakistan, you can do a lot worse than read an article in a recent New York times by James Traub:

Can Pakistan Be Governed?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/magazine/05zardari-t.html

It's the story of the recent reinstatement of Chief Justice Chaudry, along with a lot of other info. His conclusion - probably, but again, probably not by the current President.

Well worth a scan.
 
#6
Interesting prospect about the possible breakup of Pakistan, I remember seeing a map a while ago about something like that.

If you ignore (or not) the other bits of the Muslim world that this map also talks about, I'd say its vision of what the Pakistan/Afghan area could turn out to be might not be so far-fetched...

 
#7
armchair_jihad said:
beemer007 said:
Along with other recent topics of conversation including Afghanistan/Iraq PRT/rebuilding/conflicts & what the future has for this AOR, Pakistan is constantly rearing it's head with the Pakistan Government insisting they have a grip on the situation???, especially the Swat Valley area?

Bearing in mind Nato Forces have enough on their plate dealing with whats going on including the build up to the Aug elections in Helmand/Afghanistan being a complete nightmare, how long will it be before Nato has no other choice when diplomatic measures fail (realistic not optimistic) but to tackle Pakistan??

Taliban take on Islamabad, full story:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090408/twl-taliban-to-take-war-to-islamabad-41f21e0.html

Constructive views & comments please
I think you will find NATO's attitude is that its nothing to do with the non Anglo bits of NATO (apart from the Danes, Estonians, Poles and probably the Romulans).

If Pakistan implodes as many believe it will then I think that NATO will disengage from the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan. Any forward policy into Pakistan will be US led with only a few rather reluctant Allies in tow.

Do remember that the Afghan Pakistan border has no historical significance to the locals, its one of our constructs designed to give the Pakistan side the best defensive terrain should Imperial Russia have ever had rolled south to attack British India.

Could the break up of Pakistan be on the cards?...Yes and in many ways its about time, the Pashtun should really have their own Country created out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The other various ethnic groupings of Pakistan will probably go independant, the more rational ones seeking good relations with India.

But lets not forget the Nukes, its highly likely that at least one warhead has been stashed away from the official storage zone just in case the US decided to remove that problem from the chessboard.

At least one of the 30-40 they have.
Good post. As we're talking long term I don't expect Pakistan to exist in fifty years time and I'm not entirely convinced it should have been created fifty odd years ago either. A lot of this mess comes out of the fairly clumsy way we went about disengaging from the sub continent. The biggest current problem is that encouraging religion for politcal ends as the US did with Afganistan a while back has created a genie that cannot be put pack in the bottle (and allowed their Saudi allies to export a particularly hardline version of Islam that is at odds with the version on the ground [perhaps now it's 'was at odds'...])
 
#8
Steezy said:
Interesting prospect about the possible breakup of Pakistan, I remember seeing a map a while ago about something like that.

If you ignore (or not) the other bits of the Muslim world that this map also talks about, I'd say its vision of what the Pakistan/Afghan area could turn out to be might not be so far-fetched...

There are more specific versions of that map based on the real ethnic lines but I don't have the time to dig them out now, the creation of Baluchistan could happen, it also sits on huge quantities of gas most of which is as yet untapped.

The Baluch are seriously, seriously unhappy with rump Pakistan and with the right support (to keep the Iranians, Pashtun & Pakistanis at bay) could go independant and make a success of it.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Its rather difficult not to notice that all the borders drawn up by well meaning British aristocrats, usually just after the second world war, seem to cause a rather unsettlingly high percentage of the worlds instability. Quite how east and west Pakistan were meant to work is beyond me....

From memory we're committed to maintaining the borders of current states due to some treaty or other. There are many areas where more sensible lines in the ground would lead to mucho peace and happiness though.
 
#10
Flight said:
Its rather difficult not to notice that all the borders drawn up by well meaning British aristocrats, usually just after the second world war, seem to cause a rather unsettlingly high percentage of the worlds instability. Quite how east and west Pakistan were meant to work is beyond me....
I think you will find that the borders were drawn up well before the Second World War throughout the Empire with exactly the intent to make sure that tribal instability would be a major factor. Best they fight each other rather than us don't you know, also then the Empire would be called in to settle disputes and be seen as an even hand.

Don't knock it it worked for two hundred odd years, trouble being once we were out of there at the Yanks insistance, we were never ment to go back....

Oh and Pakistan East and West were not our idea.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
I thought it was Lord Mountbatten who drew up the borders of East Pakistan. Lazy git just drew a line around the flood plain.

Quite why they don't produce olympic class swimmers is beyond me...
 
#12
I suspect India will prop up what it can in Pakistan; the last thing Delhi will want is a civil war on its border with nuclear belligerents. If civil war does happen, India will quickly intervene under the pretense of pre-emption (our friends A-Q being behind the bomb attacks in India etc).

I believe, however, that as long as A-Q target both Pakistan and Indian civilians, the two countries will simply harden their stance against A-Q and the Taliban. If Pakistan were to deploy more military to its border regions, A-Q would find themselves trapped, and possibly would be finished off.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are modern nations; the people have had a taste of freedom and democracy in the last 30 years. They'll vote for that with their feet, ultimately.
 
#13
Ffyll India and Pakistan are mortal enemies, and produced their nuclear arsenals to see each other off if the need arises, I cannot see India wanting to get involved in anything in Pakistan. India still blames Pakistan for the Mumbai massacre, and has proof of the involvement of ISI in the organisation of the attack.

Hopefully the US has made arrangements for the warheads to be de-activated and the active components held in a secure location away from Pakistan.
 
#14
armchair_jihad said:
The Baluch are seriously, seriously unhappy with rump Pakistan and with the right support (to keep the Iranians, Pashtun & Pakistanis at bay) could go independant and make a success of it.
Agreed, and- as I said on another thread- they also have a jolly nice port (Gwadar) and decent tank country all the way between it and the Taliban shura (and Pak Staff College...) in Quetta.
 
#16
That article makes interesting reading, in ref of breaking up the area in years to come ( i doubt it'll happen in my lifetime but you never know) surely i would have thought the Taliban/Aq HQ have the Baluchistan area in firm thoughts in respect of the proposed "gas pieline" in the area but AQ are too focused at the moment with dealing with the US & their allies??

Pause for thought that if the russians complete with their 120.000 strong russian army, ok they have massive manpower but not all their military equipment is of servicable fighting standard, + all the other factors that contributed towards this conflict years ago has you thinking that:

"If the russians were unable to make impact with their military might & succeed in military operations what chance have other military strong countries"

Bearing in mind in the height of the Iraq conflict when the US had up to 240,000 troops on their ground at it's peak the chance of that amount of troops being deployed & used in Afghanistan again is highly unlikely but i could be wrong??

As previously stated in an ealier post that the "TAP" trans-Afghanistan-pipeline dicussion is taboo OR pipline politics is rarely mentioned which sounds very familiar to the "Iraqi oil" being mentioned within their country?? at the time by the US always denying those intentions? to have any chance or success of the TAP having a realistic chance of being a reality then it's quite obvious that security in the region has to won, secured & maintained for this to have any kind of future, & no doubt the Buluchistan Government/administartion would (you would have thought) have very tight grip on the proposed major revenue industry? but the area is also rich in other minerals & other major revenue contributions

As like a lot of conflicts, wether it being religous or other reasons there's always a bigger picture to it all????
 
#17
beemer007 said:
... to have any chance or success of the TAP having a realistic chance of being a reality then it's quite obvious that security in the region has to won, secured & maintained for this to have any kind of future,
Not at all. If the region will become secure under the governance of Afghanistan authorities that would mean NATO/US would have to leave the region and leave one of US biggest investments in the hands of natives with China and Russia looking over the fence...

For TAP to become workable, the region would have to be kept in a state of moderate unrest which would require NATO/US presence.
 
#18
Well tonights BBC 1's edition of Panorama of the Pakistani Army in swat valley made interesting viewing, but as the presenter stated & most of us will remember that History has shown, never right off Terry

Anybody views & comments
 

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