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Thread: Pakistan Predictions 2012

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    Default Pakistan Predictions 2012

    I wrote this for 3quarksdaily: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...2012.html#more

    The final paragraph: The long term future of Pakistan is “Indianization”. Not in the sense of “Indian cultural invasion” or “Indian hegemony”, but in the simple literal sense of “becoming more like India”. Obviously not exactly like India, but close enough for government work; a corruption-ridden, imperfect third world democracy with an expanding capitalist economy and many internal divisions and stresses and the additional burden of Islamic fantasizing. And I think there is little chance of developing a unique indigenous socialist/islamist/vegetarian short-cut past all these problems, much to the dismay of the Arundhati Roys and Tariq Alis, not to speak of Hindutvadis and Islamists. Pakistan will not show the world some new path to the future. It will be a “normal” South Asian country, trying to stabilize a democratic model derived from British Indian roots while working out a modus vivendi between its ancient cultures, its “Islamic” ideals and the modern world. The economy has now become too large for even the narrow elite to be dominated by imperial mercenary duties or scams related to the same. In that sense, things will be a little better. It’s not a perfect outcome, but we do not live in a perfect world.

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    Omar: What is going to happen after we bug out of Afghanistan? That is going to severely upset the current situation.

    This is great pair of sentences from 3quarks.

    "The US embassy presumably knows more than we do. On the other hand, their declassified documents make it clear that they are incredibly nave and racist in their assumptions and tend to regard the people they have colonized as mildly retarded children; so there is a good chance they dont know bat#### about what is going on, but are able to present impressive looking PowerPoints about three cups of tea with Kiyani and the other brown children who inhabit the world outside the green zone.."
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    I was working on the assumption that there will be no sudden withdrawal.
    Not based on any special knowledge, simply on the basis that a sudden withdrawal in an election year doesnt seem likely to me. Even if the WH were to decide they want to, as you say, "bug out", it will be one long slow bug out.
    I think withdrawal will eventually make things much harder for GHQ, not easier, but nobody said things will work out smoothly. I am just saying 200 million people, a 150 billion dollar economy, a large army, its going to drag on for years and years yet. And maybe even get better at some point.
    I am also assuming that with a nuclear power, with china, with "needs" re Iran (which, frankly, I cannot comprehend), the US will find it in their heart to step back and try again, and again, and again.... Not happy, but willing to grit their teeth and give it one more chance "for the sake of the kids".. there can be mutually assured corruption from many angles.
    I could be wrong, but I try to be optimistic.

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    An important factor will be the role of India as USA draws down in Afghanistan, since the opportunity to open up a second diversionary front on Pakistan's west is too enticing to pass up, partly as payback for Kashmir, and partly to encourage a low grade civil war within Pakistan to achieve its long term goals.

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    I am sure some Indians will work on this, but I will stick my neck out and say "it doesnt matter one bit whether India tries A or B or C, in ALL cases, GHQ will run into brick walls and in spite of that, Pakistan will remain mostly intact".

    I am basing this on an unreasonable degree of confidence in the notion that there is really no alternative to joining the world on more or less "normal" terms and that "the world" finds it very hard to break up states in reasonable order and would prefer to work with existing borders to a very great (though not infinite) degree...the rest is details.

    Of course I understand that those "details" matter a lot more to people than the overall direction. To the distant observer it may be a detail, to the person on the spot its whether he lives or dies or his dad gets rich or goes to prison or whatever. But taking the long view: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...lem-child.html

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    Omar: I realize I am asking you to speculate, but since Israel is leading us uncomplainingly down the fairy path to war with Iran, how do you think that will play out vis-a-vis GHQ and what they may do? How will they view that?

    Very good point about a big country like Pakistan being able to endure simply because of size and the resources that come with size no matter how inefficient.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Are we wrong about Pakistan?

    Peter Oborne, a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, answers this question with what is a 'travel' column after his visits and TV documentaries, which I have linked before and so one passage is cited:
    Many write of how dangerous Pakistan has become. More remarkable, by far, is how safe it remains, thanks to the strength and good humour of its people. The image of the average Pakistani citizen as a religious fanatic or a terrorist is simply a libel, the result of ignorance and prejudice.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...-Pakistan.html

    I accept the vast majority of Pakistanis want a better world - near home - and we invariably only get lurid media reporting, with chanting crowds etc. The snag with Peter's argument is that the Pakistani state is quite different, with several factions capable of mayhem and one institution capable of miscalculation. That is why many fear for the future.
    davidbfpo

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    Carl asks two questions:
    What is going to happen after we bug out of Afghanistan? That is going to severely upset the current situation?

    I realize I am asking you to speculate, but since Israel is leading us uncomplainingly down the fairy path to war with Iran, how do you think that will play out vis-a-vis GHQ and what they may do? How will they view that?
    One, leaving aside the timing and format of a Western, primarily American, exit from Afghanistan, it is very likely that there will be a presence and the flow of funds. Afghanistan is unlikely to be a stable place and Pakistan will still have a NWFP problem - what do we do Sah? Pakistan has plenty of issues that need national attention, for example water supplies, but its institutions show little inclination to say 'No' to buying weapons systems. More of the same I fear. The big difference is that the USA is unlikely to be paying for Pakistan's support.

    Two, if there is a war I cannot see the Pakistani public being calm, nor the military. Not convinced it will do anything hostile, although any existing co-operation - principally at sea - will evaporate swiftly.
    davidbfpo

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    GHQ will probably negotiate (hard) for cooperation against Iran, but they may cooperate to some degree. Saudis are the paymasters of last resort and IF they are on board with this adventure, then GHQ will probably end up cooperating somewhere or the other. GHQ will make sure any cooperation is secret or somehow dumped on the "civilian" government, but there may be cooperation.
    They may even be shrewd enough to calculate that the Americans will be the long term losers if they do start war for Israel or Saudi Arabia's sake, so they may also look forward to future payments for helping, in some small small way, to clean up some of the mess (probably while adding to it in other ways).
    That they themselves are losers in this game and their own country would do MUCH better if it did not play all these games (pro AND anti-America and all based on some notion of national interest being irrationally anti-Indian) is something they cannot comprehend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VCheng View Post
    An important factor will be the role of India as USA draws down in Afghanistan, since the opportunity to open up a second diversionary front on Pakistan's west is too enticing to pass up, partly as payback for Kashmir, and partly to encourage a low grade civil war within Pakistan to achieve its long term goals.
    Fancy seeing you here. You guys give too much credit to "Relatives and Wives Wing". Sure they'll try but as always will end up spending taxpayer's money on nothing.

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    LOL. Relatives and Wives wing.
    That may be a good thing. India has a long way to go yet and getting carried away with foreign adventures (especially among people who are expert at extorting such adventurers) may not be the best use of scarce resources. SOME resources probably need to be committed but diminishing returns and even negative returns kick in rather quickly. The best thing is to have capable people using scarce resources efficiently. The next best thing is to have wives and relatives siphoning off a small percentage without doing too much damage. The worst thing is to have incompetents lead you into quagmires and waste trillions....see USA for details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    LOL. Relatives and Wives wing.
    That may be a good thing. India has a long way to go yet and getting carried away with foreign adventures (especially among people who are expert at extorting such adventurers) may not be the best use of scarce resources. SOME resources probably need to be committed but diminishing returns and even negative returns kick in rather quickly. The best thing is to have capable people using scarce resources efficiently. The next best thing is to have wives and relatives siphoning off a small percentage without doing too much damage. The worst thing is to have incompetents lead you into quagmires and waste trillions....see USA for details.
    It is not as well managed as ISI but in fact is a slow and bureaucracy infested organisation. For the very first time since it's inception it'll be facing CAG, a notorious auditing institution. Hence, the already limited resources will be even more scarce now and no more money for relatives and wives.

    I wouldn't worry too much about R&AW, no more than Afghan or Russian intelligence. They too have a grudge and unlike R&AW, civilian leadership and bureaucracy is not going to hold them down.

    CIA and American SF are there to stay and won't be going anywhere, not now not ever. As soon as the Pak loses it's only card i.e. supply routes post 2014, it'll be a mess on both sides of Durrand line.

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    I am not "worried" about R and W in the sense of "worried what they may do to Pakistan". I was expressing the hope that R and W will not get India involved more deeply that is cost-efficient.
    About Pakistan, unfortunately GHQ is not asking for advice from liberals or lefties or mildly cynical democrats. They are boxing above their weight category and ordinary Pakistanis are paying most of the price. Sadly, that may continue for a while. I agree that Relatives and Wives will probably do little damage and Afghans and Russians and CIA and ISI's own rebellious children (above all) will do more.
    The following thoughts are easily misunderstood, but I do wish India would do better because I think the modern idea of India is superior to most other competing ideas in the subcontinent. I wish it success because I believe that its success will be good for a billion plus Indians and could pull up others around its periphery. I am aware that there is a large gap between idea and practice in India (and of course, there is in all countries) but the failure of this ideal would likely be a catastrophe, not just for India, but for its neighbours as well.
    There may be smaller catastrophes along the way even if the idea works better, and particular neighbours may fail to benefit from its success due to their own short-sightedness or other obsessions (and it may have to succeed in spite of them, not with their cooperation), but a better India would be a net plus for the people of the region (though not necessarily for all factions).
    If this sounds too mushy I would add that I do have far more cynical days..

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    I am not "worried" about R and W in the sense of "worried what they may do to Pakistan". I was expressing the hope that R and W will not get India involved more deeply that is cost-efficient.
    About Pakistan, unfortunately GHQ is not asking for advice from liberals or lefties or mildly cynical democrats. They are boxing above their weight category and ordinary Pakistanis are paying most of the price. Sadly, that may continue for a while. I agree that Relatives and Wives will probably do little damage and Afghans and Russians and CIA and ISI's own rebellious children (above all) will do more.
    The following thoughts are easily misunderstood, but I do wish India would do better because I think the modern idea of India is superior to most other competing ideas in the subcontinent. I wish it success because I believe that its success will be good for a billion plus Indians and could pull up others around its periphery. I am aware that there is a large gap between idea and practice in India (and of course, there is in all countries) but the failure of this ideal would likely be a catastrophe, not just for India, but for its neighbours as well.
    There may be smaller catastrophes along the way even if the idea works better, and particular neighbours may fail to benefit from its success due to their own short-sightedness or other obsessions (and it may have to succeed in spite of them, not with their cooperation), but a better India would be a net plus for the people of the region (though not necessarily for all factions).
    If this sounds too mushy I would add that I do have far more cynical days..
    True, but you know as well as I do that is not going to happen. As VCheng said, this opportunity is too enticing to pass up for RAW but our present government is the most timid one we ever had. Overseas adventure is not their cup of tea. Recent Maldivian crisis is a perfect example. And when a nation with a strong military is led by an economist some things are bound to go wrong.

    So far the idea of Republic of India despite it's flaws and challenges have survived for 60 years and is stronger than ever. For a liberal like you it's a good thing, for a Pak hardliner it's not. I have been criticized on Indian forums for not rooting for the defeat of Pakistan in SWAT and SW. This was not out of love but I was not ready to have a neighbor whose radical but disciplined army is to be replaced by a more radical and trigger happy bunch of thugs.

    This tiny planet won't survive a much larger and much more powerful "Afghanistan".

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueblood View Post
    Fancy seeing you here. You guys give too much credit to "Relatives and Wives Wing". Sure they'll try but as always will end up spending taxpayer's money on nothing.
    I don't know with whom I have the pleasure of discussing this topic here, but I do look forward to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    I am not "worried" about R and W in the sense of "worried what they may do to Pakistan". I was expressing the hope that R and W will not get India involved more deeply that is cost-efficient.
    About Pakistan, unfortunately GHQ is not asking for advice from liberals or lefties or mildly cynical democrats. They are boxing above their weight category and ordinary Pakistanis are paying most of the price. Sadly, that may continue for a while. I agree that Relatives and Wives will probably do little damage and Afghans and Russians and CIA and ISI's own rebellious children (above all) will do more................
    With the situation being as volatile as it is, and being worsened by the amateurs "boxing above their weight" in the GHQ, it will not take much investment in resources from the R&AW (or for anyone else, for that matter) to achieve at least a set of goals that will keep the khakis wrapped up within their own borders for the foreseeable future.

    Quote Originally Posted by blueblood View Post
    True, but you know as well as I do that is not going to happen. As VCheng said, this opportunity is too enticing to pass up for RAW but our present government is the most timid one we ever had. Overseas adventure is not their cup of tea. Recent Maldivian crisis is a perfect example. And when a nation with a strong military is led by an economist some things are bound to go wrong. .................
    It is not a matter of being enticing: it simply makes good policy at this point in time to further entangle the domestic situation to the point that exporting jihadi operations becomes increasingly problematic for Pakistan.

    Couple that with a failing economy, chronically hopeless governance, and a clueless leadership, and India may yet have to deal with a slowly imploding nuclear armed neighbor, regardless of whether USA remains in the picture or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VCheng View Post
    I don't know with whom I have the pleasure of discussing this topic here, but I do look forward to it.
    An age old lurker of PDF, hence the amazement.

    It is not a matter of being enticing: it simply makes good policy at this point in time to further entangle the domestic situation to the point that exporting jihadi operations becomes increasingly problematic for Pakistan.

    Couple that with a failing economy, chronically hopeless governance, and a clueless leadership, and India may yet have to deal with a slowly imploding nuclear armed neighbor, regardless of whether USA remains in the picture or not.
    Policy wise it's a bad decision to venture into Astan. Things are already messed up and R&AW playing a major role will only make it worse, for India too.

    Other reasons are mentioned in my earlier posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueblood View Post
    An age old lurker of PDF, hence the amazement.
    I haven't been to PDF is quite a while now.

    Quote Originally Posted by blueblood View Post
    Policy wise it's a bad decision to venture into Astan. Things are already messed up and R&AW playing a major role will only make it worse, for India too.

    Other reasons are mentioned in my earlier posts.
    Given the level of involvement of India in Afghanistan already, I would submit that the decision has already been taken; it is only a matter of implementation as circumstances evolve over the next few years.

    Whether it turns out to be a bad or good decision will take some time to become evident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VCheng View Post
    I haven't been to PDF is quite a while now.



    Given the level of involvement of India in Afghanistan already, I would submit that the decision has already been taken; it is only a matter of implementation as circumstances evolve over the next few years.

    Whether it turns out to be a bad or good decision will take some time to become evident.
    That place is becoming more and more useless every passing day. People, regardless of nationality keep on bickering.

    It depends on what you consider as "involvement". Building roads for afghans and giving them thousands of visas every year.

    For last four years I been hearing about the involvement of RAW in every darn thing that happened in Pak. With no sort of evidence at all. I am not even saying that you present these evidences to India. But you can present them to China or US or Saudi Arabia or to anyone for all I care.
    Make China or Saudi Arabia say that India is "involved".

    I am not saying that RAW is an angel but you got show it that it is not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueblood View Post
    That place is becoming more and more useless every passing day. People, regardless of nationality keep on bickering.

    It depends on what you consider as "involvement". Building roads for afghans and giving them thousands of visas every year.

    For last four years I been hearing about the involvement of RAW in every darn thing that happened in Pak. With no sort of evidence at all. I am not even saying that you present these evidences to India. But you can present them to China or US or Saudi Arabia or to anyone for all I care.
    Make China or Saudi Arabia say that India is "involved".

    I am not saying that RAW is an angel but you got show it that it is not.
    PDF is a lost cause, like most things Pakistani, so let's leave that aside.




    What you describe as the positive aspects of Indian involvement are exactly what the ISI honchos are most afraid of, since it is this soft power that will make the coercive nature of Pakistani support superfluous over time for the Afghan people.

    The claims of R&AW involvement in every adverse event is Pakistan are merely a manifestation of the India-centric mindset that has been so carefully constructed over the decades that even those who should know better are falling for it, so please do not think much of it.

    As the realization sets in that not only is the concept of strategic depth dead (not that it ever was alive), but the socioeconomic rot has become irreversible, it would not be beyond the realm of possibility that ill-thought out misadventures would be seen as last ditch efforts to save the state by drawing in other players by virtue of blackmail.

    Those panicked jerks will fail as before, but all this will take perhaps another decade to play out slowly.

    In the meantime, let's see what are the formal recommendations of the Parliamentary National Security Committee are for restarting the bilateral relationship with USA, with another desperate plea to consider Kashmir as a quid pro quo for helping with post withdrawal Afghanistan.

    That too has no realistic chances of success.

    Yes, the coming couple of years are not looking good for Pakistan at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VCheng View Post
    What you describe as the positive aspects of Indian involvement are exactly what the ISI honchos are most afraid of, since it is this soft power that will make the coercive nature of Pakistani support superfluous over time for the Afghan people.
    http://rt.com/news/india-afghans-afghanistan-projects/

    If you consider RT a decent source.

    1) General Indian population sympathizes with Afghans. Afghans in general like India.

    2) Soft power like movies, songs and whatnot played a very positive role in that.

    3) So far, India has stayed away from local politics and military presence and focused entirely on development.

    Post 2014, India's main concern and job will not the encirclement of Pak but rather save Astan from Taliban. Indian companies, both public and private have made huge investments in Astan and will not be pleased to see it going down the drain.

    The claims of R&AW involvement in every adverse event is Pakistan are merely a manifestation of the India-centric mindset that has been so carefully constructed over the decades that even those who should know better are falling for it, so please do not think much of it.

    As the realization sets in that not only is the concept of strategic depth dead (not that it ever was alive), but the socioeconomic rot has become irreversible, it would not be beyond the realm of possibility that ill-thought out misadventures would be seen as last ditch efforts to save the state by drawing in other players by virtue of blackmail.

    Those panicked jerks will fail as before, but all this will take perhaps another decade to play out slowly.

    In the meantime, let's see what are the formal recommendations of the Parliamentary National Security Committee are for restarting the bilateral relationship with USA, with another desperate plea to consider Kashmir as a quid pro quo for helping with post withdrawal Afghanistan.

    That too has no realistic chances of success.

    Yes, the coming couple of years are not looking good for Pakistan at all.
    I wouldn't blame the poor souls. Losing a war and country divided in half, people need someone to blame. Niazi became a scapegoat and India was the new "Makkaar Gora". Here in India, 99% of those who know about Sino-Indian war of 62 blame China for every single thing. Nehru was no less responsible and Menon should have been hanged for his utter foolishness. This is how it works in the sub continent. But things have changed in India not sure about Pak.

    Strategic depth is pretty much alive. Ever since TTP waged a war on Pak, terrorism in Kashmir in particular and India in general has been quite low since the 80s. As soon as US leave Astan, PA will divert the radicals to the softer target. Other thing is that post 2014, Pak will lose the only bargaining chip it has i.e. supply routes.

    That will be the litmus test of US-Pak relations.

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