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So far, the Obama administration has viewed this as a humanitarian crisis when indeed it is a looming geostrategic catastrophe if not contained first. How much of a calamity it will prove is still not certain. However, in a worst case scenario, this catastrophe could approach the guns of August in 1914 that precipitated World War I in possible consequence.
The reasons for this seemingly over-the-top scenario are almost self-evident. Neither the Pakistani government nor its army may have the capacity to respond to this disaster and unprecedented human misery to keep the country together. The widespread collapse of bridges, roads and power generation has isolated huge swatches of Pakistan making transportation impossible except by air meaning helicopters of which there only a handful.
This is what happened in East Pakistan in 1970. The government couldn't respond to floods causing East Pakistanis to riot leading to the 1971 war with India that created Bangladesh. The current government, too, could be overwhelmed.
Al-Qaida, Taliban and other extremist groups are no doubt purchasing one-way air tickets back to Pakistan. The disaster offers a great opportunity for jihadi extremists and other insurgents to set up shop relatively safe from government intervention and begin recruiting new disciples. Terrorists need not flock to Yemen or Somalia. Pakistan will offer a safe and fertile refuge for their operations. The image of Lenin boarding the train back to Russia in 1917 comes to mind.
As anarchy intensifies, what will India do? Insurgents have every incentive to provoke India through another Mumbai-like attack to finish off an already reeling government in Islamabad thus allowing insurgents the chance to dominate and convert large parts of Pakistan.
An unruleable Pakistan means that the NATO and Western coalition in Afghanistan cannot succeed. Supply routes from Karachi northward to Afghanistan will be seriously affected by the floods. More importantly, insurgents will find refuge more easily in Pakistan's northwest territories as the Pakistani army turns inward to help relieve the catastrophic damage caused by the floods.