US Failure with The Siamese Situations: Afghanistan and Pakistan

Posted on January 23, 2011

An old saying “the shortest route to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” This impossibly impossible route must surely have been the model adopted  by the US Military to solve the problem of Afghanistan: the shortest route to peace in Afghanistan is seen as going through Pakistan.

US Drone attacks, use of special forces, and a few rocket launches later and Pakistan has been stubbornly improving its tech warfare standing and diplomatic relations with countries willing to share same. It’s  not just China, it’s many European development consortia that are helping them to build their arsenal. [Pakistankakhudahafiz]

And worst of all, the people are in the streets demonstrating about the drone attacks  – even as Pakistan moves to develop its own drone.  Sadly the issue is still one of collateral damage – the death of innocents – that make these kinds of attacks politically and humanely difficult.  Today, another attack has been announced and again, another demonstration. [CNN]

The question now becomes one of :  do we just pick up our marbles and stop pushing Pakistan and leave Afghanistan?  At the very least, we have lost some good defense contracts.  Then again, we have preserved our relationship with Pakistan’s nemesis, India, or  have we?  India is obsessed with China’s growing power militarily, economically and diplomatically.  During these China reconsidered moments, India distances itself from the US in order to operate within the region effectively.  China has a different view of the Indian-American relationship:

China, however, [is] making a mistake by strategising that India[is]  riding on USA’s shoulder to contain it.  This is neither in India’s strategic interest nor in its economic interest.  The two countries could make Asia’s destiny if such perception and mistrust were removed.  At the same time, India has its own interests. China has been all over India’s neighbourhood strategically, militarily and economically to counter India.  This is very visible currently not only in Pakistan, but in Nepal and Sri Lanka, with some setbacks in Bangladesh after a change in government in that country. [South Asian Analysis]

In Pakistan (officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan) turmoil as the proponents of a theocracy  vie with those who want to maintain a secular course.  The two websites I use to track developments on both sides are

Pakistankakhudahafiz and Secular PakistanWikipedia lists these remarkable facts about modern-day Pakistan:

Pakistan is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of four provinces and four federal territories. With over 170 million people, it is the sixth most populous country in the world[2] and has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia.[12] It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country with a similar variation in its geography and wildlife. With a semi-industrialized economy, it is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power. Since gaining independence, Pakistan’s history has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighbouring India. The country faces challenging problems including poverty, illiteracy, corruption and terrorism.

Pakistan has the seventh largest standing armed force and is the only Muslim-majority nation to possess nuclear weapons. It is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States.[13] It is a founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference[14] and a member of the United Nations.