[eDebate] strategic motivations for mumbai attack
Sun Dec 7 20:08:54 CST 2008
will obama's new neoconservative foreign policy regime receive a significant blow to their dubious afghanistan strategy before cat stevens plays his inauguration dinner ball? will pakistani troops in the afghan border regions be relocated to the indian border? how long will take it the mainstream media to "debate" the serious possibility of al-qaeda headquarters relocation to somalia or another safe haven?some good cards in this one but, just a reminder, stroube was right about the consequence of obama's afghanistan posturing for what stroube called the pakistan/india trigger. obama has tricked his supporters into believing into the possibility of transparency and government accountability without vigorous public debate. i have a feeling obama's idea of public debate about the use of strategic forces will resemble dubya's. manipulation of the mainstream media through content control by the corporate sponsors who bankrolled "anti-bush". the india/pakistan trigger was so obvious even stroube saw it coming but the obama camp is so stubborn about afghanistan they didn't even mention the possibility of negative consequences for india in their expert afghan plans. what a bunch of assholes set on fooling on the foreign policy illiterate. the illusion of transparency in lieu of actual public debate of major foreign policy issues will recuperate the tarnished image of the executive branch post-dick cheney and allow the new neoconservative administration to plunge into the next round of war experiments in the middle east despite glaring strategic flaws:http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20081201_strategic_motivations_mumbai_attack/?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_campaign=none&utm_medium=emailIn 2001-2002, the Indo-Pakistani crisis played into American hands. In 2008, the new Indo-Pakistani crisis might play differently. The United States recently has demanded increased Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border. Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama has stated his intention to focus on Afghanistan and pressure the Pakistanis.Therefore, one of Islamabad?s first responses to the new Indo-Pakistani crisis was to announce that if the Indians increased their forces along Pakistan?s eastern border, Pakistan would be forced to withdraw 100,000 troops from its western border with Afghanistan. In other words, threats from India would cause Pakistan to dramatically reduce its cooperation with the United States in the Afghan war. The Indian foreign minister is flying to the United States to meet with Obama; obviously, this matter will be discussed among others.We expect the United States to pressure India not to create a crisis, in order to avoid this outcome. As we have said, the problem is that it is unclear whether politically the Indians can afford restraint. At the very least, New Delhi must demand that the Pakistani government take steps to make the ISI and Pakistan?s other internal security apparatus more effective. Even if the Indians concede that there was no ISI involvement in the attack, they will argue that the ISI is incapable of stopping such attacks. They will demand a purge and reform of the ISI as a sign of Pakistani commitment. Barring that, New Delhi will move troops to the Indo-Pakistani frontier to intimidate Pakistan and placate Indian public opinion...The United States might well want to limit New Delhi?s response. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to India to discuss just this. But the politics of India?s situation make it unlikely that the Indians can do anything more than listen. It is more than simply a political issue for New Delhi; the Indians have no reason to believe that the Mumbai operation was one of a kind. Further operations like the Mumbai attack might well be planned. Unless the Pakistanis shift their posture inside Pakistan, India has no way of knowing whether other such attacks can be stymied. The Indians will be sympathetic to Washington?s plight in Afghanistan and the need to keep Pakistani troops at the Afghan border. But New Delhi will need something that the Americans ? and in fact the Pakistanis ? can?t deliver: a guarantee that there will be no more attacks like this one.The Indian government cannot chance inaction. It probably would fall if it did. Moreover, in the event of inactivity and another attack, Indian public opinion probably will swing to an uncontrollable extreme. If an attack takes place but India has moved toward crisis posture with Pakistan, at least no one can argue that the Indian government remained passive in the face of threats to national security. Therefore, India is likely to refuse American requests for restraint.It is possible that New Delhi will make a radical proposal to Rice, however. Given that the Pakistani government is incapable of exercising control in its own country, and given that Pakistan now represents a threat to both U.S. and Indian national security, the Indians might suggest a joint operation with the Americans against Pakistan.What that joint operation might entail is uncertain, but regardless, this is something that Rice would reject out of hand and that Obama would reject in January 2009. Pakistan has a huge population and nuclear weapons, and the last thing Bush or Obama wants is to practice nation-building in Pakistan. The Indians, of course, will anticipate this response. The truth is that New Delhi itself does not want to engage deep in Pakistan to strike at militant training camps and other Islamist sites. That would be a nightmare. But if Rice shows up with a request for Indian restraint and no concrete proposal ? or willingness to entertain a proposal ? for solving the Pakistani problem, India will be able to refuse on the grounds that the Americans are asking India to absorb a risk (more Mumbai-style attacks) without the United States? willingness to share in the risk...In the meantime, the Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will mean that one leg of the Petraeus and Obama plans would collapse. Washington?s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it. The Taliban?s ability to fight would increase, while the motivation for any of the Taliban to enter talks ? as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested ? would decline. U.S. forces, already stretched to the limit, would face an increasingly difficult situation, while pressure on al Qaeda in the tribal areas would decrease.Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created. First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn?t plan on. Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda. Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan?s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government ? or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan. Finally, the United States? situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.By staging an attack the Indian government can?t ignore, the Mumbai attackers have set in motion an existential crisis for Pakistan. The reality of Pakistan cannot be transformed, trapped as the country is between the United States and India. Almost every evolution from this point forward benefits Islamists. Strategically, the attack on Mumbai was a precise blow struck to achieve uncertain but favorable political outcomes for the Islamists.Rice?s trip to India now become
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