Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pakistan, American Aid: What a Mess

This excerpt from today's news shouldn't be a surprise:
"Pakistan: US suspends $800m of military aid"
BBC News South Asia (July 10, 2011)

"The US says it is withholding some $800m in military aid to Pakistan.

"White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told ABC television that Pakistan had 'taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid'.

"He said the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in May had affected ties but he insisted the relationship 'must be made to work over time'.

"The $800m (£500m) equates to about a third of the annual US security aid to Pakistan, US officials say.

"In figures submitted to the International Monetary Fund last autumn, Pakistan's defence expenditure in its 2010-2011 budget was put at $6.41bn - an increase of $1.27bn on the previous year...."

'Good Guys,' 'Bad Guys,' and Getting a Grip

There's no shortage of assumptions a person could make about the U.S.-Pakistan situation. Here's a short list of possibilities:
That's just scratching the surface. My guess is that by now, everyone from the CIA and the Illuminati to space aliens and Zionists have been fingered as the 'real' cause of Pakistan's latest setback.

I'm inclined to think that Pakistan's alleged national government discovered that being 'important' to American foreign policy doesn't mean being immune to cause and effect.

I've discussed Pakistan's remarkable talent for not noticing Osama bin Laden's compound and support staff before. Also American insensitivity to the Pakistani custom of letting terrorists know when and where a raid is going to happen.

Cultural Sensitivity / Making Allowances

Seriously, I recognize that the lot who say they're really Pakistani's national government are in an awkward position. And that they can't, for economic, political, historical, cultural, and military reasons control more than a few parts of a few cities - most of the time. And some parts of the rest of the country - some of the time.

When doing so won't offend tribal leaders, Al Qaeda, Taliban supporters, or assorted other interested parties, of course.

As I said, Pakistan's alleged national leaders are in an awkward position.

That doesn't necessarily make them 'good guys,' or 'bad guys.' But it doesn't make them reliable allies, either.

Maybe someday, when the movers and shakers in that part of the world decide to edge their way into the 18th century - - -

Lessons Learned

As I've said before, I don't think America - or any other country - is perfect. This country does, however, learn from its mistakes. Slowly, sometimes - but we do learn.

For example, America's leaders seem to have learned something from the 20th century's Cold War. We discovered, finally, that backing trigger-happy warlords, or occasionally-deluded despots, is a really bad idea. In the long run. Even if - maybe particularly if - they claim to be 'pro-democracy.'

That may explain why the United States is withholding some money - instead of apologizing to Pakistani leaders for finding bin Laden; and trying to protect them from terrorists. Terrorists they have taken in as guests.

Pakistan and America: Now What?

I don't think American can completely withdraw from Pakistan.

Attractive as the idea of pretending that the rest of the world isn't there may be - America lives in the 21st century. If there was ever an era when a nation could make believe that nobody else existed - - - this isn't it.

Like it or not, Pakistan is between India and the Middle East, China and Africa, and fairly centrally located for all but the American continents. On top of that, somebody with government connections in Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and there doesn't seem to be anybody - alleged national leaders, tribal heads, or terrorists - who really has control of the territory.

They don't even seem to have worked out the sort of dynamic stability that places like the United Kingdom and the United States manage, when it comes to local/regional/national control.

America, Western countries, and anybody else who doesn't want a worse mess to start - simply can't afford to let Pakistan collapse on its own. Even if ethical issues weren't involved, America's interests are involved when it comes to keeping Pakistani leaders from ruining their country.

Related posts:
In the news:

4 comments:

Brigid said...

Missing a period: "they claim to be 'pro-democracy'"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

aymanbinmoshi said...

DAJJAL HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED!!

DO YOU KNOW THE DAJJAL (THE ANTI-CHRIST), THE ONE-EYED GIANT PROPHECISED BY THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH HAS ALREADY BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR THE PAST 472 YEARS & HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED?

YOU MAY BE AMAZED TO KNOW THAT IT IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT IS THOUGHT TO BE TODAY. TO SEE WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS – VISIT THE WEBSITE Islam and Dajjal AND READ THE BOOK “DAJJAL? THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION!” AND WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY “DAJJAL? THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION!”.

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Found, and fixed - that one was easy. ;)

Thanks.

Brian Gill said...

aymanbinmoshi,

Oh-Kay.

No, as a matter of fact. I don't keep track of the various end-times-Bible-prophecies and their analogs across they myriad ways of man.

Sooner or later, someone is going to get lucky, and one of those will line up with an earthquake, fire, flood, or something else on the news - but I'm not holding my breath.

You've got some company, it seems - at least there's a non-anonymous comment on "Pakistan, America, Cultural Sensitivity, and Giving Terrorists a Break." on the same topic.

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Blogroll

Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.