Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Our friend Pervez Musharraf

General Pervez Musharraf

David Seaton's News Links

The article by Arnaud de Borchgrave, which I have "abstracted" with a heavy hand, should be read in its entirety.

Nobody has had to walk the razor's edge after 9-11 more than Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf. He has had precious little room to maneuver between the feelings of his people (and his intelligence service) and Bush's brutal "for us or against us". As the Spanish say, he has managed "to swim and to keep his clothes dry at the same time." By doing so he has probably saved his country a world of grief.

As America fails in Iraq, Musharraf is a reliable weather vane as to how leaders all over the world will have to "make other arrangements". DS

De Borchgrave: How much longer in Afghanistan? - United Press International
Abstract: The way Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf reads the geopolitical tea leaves in the Middle East and South Asia is not to our liking, but hardly surprising. Political science 101 shows a U.S. Congress, controlled by the Democrats, not prepared to see the Iraq conflict through to victory -- i.e., a free democratic country able to sustain and defend itself without the U.S. military.(...) Mohammad Aurakzai, the Musharraf-appointed governor of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier province, described the Taliban as waging "a war of liberation" against foreign troops occupying Afghanistan. Local populations, he added, are "increasingly supporting Taliban."(...) public and political support for a close U.S.-Pakistan partnership is rapidly evaporating in a Muslim country with the world's second largest Muslim population -- and a nuclear arsenal. Pakistani extremists are making their views known with suicide bombings in major cities, including Islamabad, and rocket and mortar attacks on mosques. By Musharraf's own reckoning, there are about 1.6 million people willing to push extremist agendas through acts of violence -- or one percent of the population.(...) In his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Anthony H. Cordesman said, "No one can return from visiting the front in Afghanistan without realizing there is a very real risk that the U.S. and NATO could lose their war with al-Qaida, the Taliban and the other Islamist movements fighting the Afghan government. We are still winning a tactically, but we may well be losing strategically." Cordesman, the Center for Strategic and International Studies' strategic thinker, added, "Winning will take more resources, more forces, more patience and at least five to 10 more years of persistent effort." In the light of the Congressional debates over Iraq, and the reticence of America's NATO allies to provide more troops for Afghanistan, Musharraf and his ISI analysts have concluded the West's will to win won't last the required five-to-10 years. Hence, the Pakistani leader's belief, denials notwithstanding, that a "moderate" Taliban regime in Kabul is a safer strategic bet. READ IT ALL

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