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Pakistan, Power Politics, and Planet Earth

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posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 08:22 AM
This thread is intended to explore the situation in Pakistan, in all its complexities and manifestations. We hear much in the news about instability related to North Korea, Iraq, or Israel/Palestine, but comparatively little attention is devoted to Pakistan. And yet I would argue Pakistan every bit -- if not more -- as explosive, unstable, and potentially destabilizing as any other place on earth. It is a nation that deserves a lot more attention than it is getting.

I may occasionally use the term “Af-Pac” in this thread, in reference to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. As will hopefully become apparent, the interface between these two nations plays a particularly important role in just about everything that goes on in rest of the nation, and it is not always possible to speak of frontier regions of Pakistan as being separate from Afghanistan in any meaningful way. Of particular interest will be the so-called FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Areas) of Pakistan.

For general context on the wider Central Asian situation, I recommend SLAYER69's first and second threads on the "Great Game" and the various geostrategic factors in play in the area.

A map is always a good place to start:

So why should you care about what goes on in Pakistan?

1) It is a nuclear-armed nation with a highly unstable government. That alone should give anyone pause. And what little stability exists is rapidly fraying.

2) To give a sense of the acceleration of chaos, consider the following. Prior to 2002, Pakistan had experienced only one suicide bombing in its history. In 2009 alone, almost 90 suicide attacks were staged, killing over 3,000 people.

2) The US war in Afghanistan is increasingly becoming a war in Pakistan. Umanned aerial vehicles or "drones" are playing an important and controversial role in this new area of conflict. Calling 2009 "the year of the drone", the New America Foundation noted that “under the Obama administration, there were 51 reported strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, compared with 45 during the entire administration of George W. Bush.” (I have no intention of starting a puerile Bush-versus-Obama thread…there are a zillion of those elsewhere on the Internet, so if that’s your cup of tea, please take it elsewhere. I’m just pointing this out to note the escalation of the instability in Pakistan.)

With this thread, I would like to focus, in as non-partisan and non-ideological a manner as possible, on the general realpolitk mechanics of Pakistan – a nuclear-armed “failed state” that is becoming more rather than less violent and less rather than more in the public eye. Please feel free to add whatever you like. Possible directions for discussion include: historical background; Pakistan’s place in the wider tectonic, geostrategic struggles among the great powers; current events; underreported developments: “piecing together” an accurate picture of a confusing multi-ethnic nation and a conflict with many roots; and possible future scenarios. More to follow.

[edit on 7/7/10 by silent thunder]

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:00 AM
Im basicaly under the firm believe Europe wants better trade acces to India, always has done, however, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are in the way. And it seems apparent Europe enlisted America to basicaly destroy any state who would get in there way.

Its good theres a nod to the Great Game in your post, historicaly it helps put a lot into perspective as to why we would want to secure those god forsaken lands.

For anyone interested this is an excellent book detailing the British and Russian campaigns and both nations experiance with the areas tribal mentality. Unfortunatly however, Afghanistan is not a region you want to be occupying. Even now things are going very very badly for our armed forces.

Request to Silent Thunder, would you perhaps think of creating a thread concerning the Caucus, specificaly GUAM Orginization for Democracy and Economic Development?,

It again is an extremely important trade route for Europe, Russia and the West, particularly now after the trouble in Georgia and more or less an extension of the Central Eurasian power corridor.

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 05:07 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

S & F

Pakistan is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they have tribal ties to a large percentage of the Pashtun who are the backbone of the Taliban them and many other Muslims from around the gulf. On the other, they want to be part of the modern world with all it's advantages, Rub elbows with the west.

All the while trying not to let religious extremists get a hold of it's nukes that is feared they may blast India to ashes with. They are an interesting mixture of cultures that's at a critical crossroads of development. Personally I think Pakistan could potentially be the most important country in the region over the next coming decades.

I'm curious, I'm interested in reading other members perspectives and insight.




[edit on 7-7-2010 by SLAYER69]

posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 05:39 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

Your right, Pakistan was created to buffer India from Afghanistan, in doing so Britain seriously screwed this country over. They truly are between a rock and a hard place and the continual onslaught from the U.S sending robotic death machines called Predators is a constant reminder to them im sure.

Recently the London School of Economics alleged the ISI have been funding and training taliban in Afghanistan, this was an apparent qoute by Azari himself while visiting taliban in a pakistani prison

"You are our people, we are friends, and after release we will of course support you to do your operations,”

And as such Pakistan are accused of double dealings with "the enemy" because at the same time they receive billions of dollars from America to fight this enemy they are apparently training.

I kind off feel sorry for Pakistan the way they see it, loosing control of the fiercly independant pashtun would be national suicide for Pakistan, they have to support them, yet somehow combat the more radicalised tribes at the same time, often to the detriment of there own government and national security.

People should really make an effort to understand the groups of peoples actualy involved in these regions, there culture, there politics and general beliefe systems but then, that would maybe lead people to realise the actual horrors of what Western nation states are actualy doing there. Its a lot easier to associate death with terrorists, but not with so easy to associate it with a civilised peoples you can indentify with through history and culture,

[edit on 7-7-2010 by Johnze]

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