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November 19, 2007



At least we aren't playing Carter and backing Bhutto even though all her backer's signs are in English and pointed at western news photogs. Maybe we're learning something.

There have been reports for over a week of big Pak forces massing to take out the bums in the Swat Valley and a removing of Pak troops from the Indian border.

I think Musharraf will take off his uniform only after he's wiped out a lot of his (and our) enemies.


Bhutto got played, I think.


I also believe Abdullah of the Sauds has been persuaded that Persia is a bigger menace than Israel and that al-Qaeda has become counter-productive. What that does to madrassahs worldwide, I can only hope.


I think she got played, too, Kim.



Can you give me the Cliff notes version of why you think that and what you think is really going on?


We worked on Musharraf to let her return. And he agreed. We helped them fashion a deal where they'd share power and both agreed. It's obvious that she saw this as an opportunity to seize power for herself--probably with the connivance of the Chief Justice who then was about to declare Musharraf's victory in the Parliament unconstitutional. She figured a few street demos with modern looking lawyers carrying English language signs would result in our backing her and Shah-ing Musharraf. Didn't work.Musharraf fired the C.J., he clamped down on the street demos, and we made public pronouncements urging him to continue on toward democracy but we didn't abandon him.
If Musharraf can hold off long enough and round up his opponents and kill jihadi leaders fast enough, he wins the entire enchillada and Bhutto can spend the rest of her time in Islamabad giving long soulful interviews with the bright lights of the UK's Independent, the NYT and Newsweek.


Jane, see also;




Wow, and thanks, but I need a little more information. Who does Bhutto placate?


Of course, there's the kleptocracy, but my guess is that Islamists prefer her at the helm so they can more easily take over. Her grit-or lack of it--was best shown when after one assassination attempt she hightailed it to Dubai.

Musharraf has gone thru this at least three times and weathered many dangers ( many in the Intel service working for the other side), but so far the Army--which as in most third world dumps is the most modern and pragmatic of forces--stands with him. And I think they will even after he takes off his uniform.Surely, he's arranged for his loyalists to run once he no longer heads it.


Thanks Kim and Clarice. I appreciate it.

Cecil Turner

Utterly idiotic. Anyone suggesting an invasion of Pakistan (or tactical bombing strikes, or a Special Forces raid on any but an outlying province, or anything similar) either can't count, can't read a map, or both.

Yglesias's and Bergmann's fascination with the troop numbers required is a bit silly, worrying about "sustaining" an operation that isn't feasible to launch in the first place. And in any event, the number of US troops is sufficient for an emergency operation (extended deployments with WWII-style "duration plus six months" personnel tempo) . . . but this is clearly not such a national emergency, and you couldn't get the troops there anyay (whaddya gonna do, fly 'em to Afghanistan and march 'em across the border? land 'em with our robust amphibious infrastructure? riiiiiiight . . . ). Similarly, Yglesias pointing this up as "a growing trend among advocates of a hawkish defense posture" doesn't really work. The main problem here is not the political side . . . it's that the operations side is impractical to the point of ridiculousness. And the reason that's so is that the proponents have no clue on operations. So while the derision heaped on the O'Kaglan plan is warranted (understated, even), the political lens Yglesias and the majority of his commenters use to reach that conclusion is no more valid or useful for assessing military options.


Kagan is hitting the bong water, methinks.

We have hit upon what worked for the British during the Raj. Use one set of Tribals against another, is all. In this case, we'll be renting the local Pashtun and outbidding the "Afghan Arabs" for their loyalties. I strongly suspect that an arrangement will be made with the Saudi Royal Family for bin Laden's money to dry up, given larger concerns for containing Iran and maintaining stability in Pakistan. There are bigger fish to fry than AQ.

As a consequence, UBL will have trouble buying loyalties, and he and his posse will be easier to kill. We've taken Anbar and decided to graft that experience onto Waziristan. Prospects for success are mixed, but once UBL goes belly up, things will look up.


It's Afghanistan. Hire me.

My dad worked for Kennedy and helped start Peace Corps. He died just before 9/11. My family has a reputation at Harvard with the Bushs. We have scholarships financed and Harvard has others that USAID finances and they won't sponsor themselves.

I work for NPR and would like to embed in Pakistan(Afghanistan is happening because of Pakistan intelligence and everybody agrees we will have to deal with them). I would like to work with the special forces, especially the Green berets because of the history with them and Peace Corps, where I was a volunteer in Morocco(we all know about Morocco).

I plan to start NGOs for the people of Pakistan, which I will grow to love during my embed with the special forces. Later, I may run an NGO and can do alot with the USAID money from the intelligence committee(he's a Peace Corps too, Fiji). The political appointee will just approve the funds(we know the Bushs).

The special forces will basically cash finance the tribal leaders and my NGOs will be doing the same thing. When the special forces leave the NGO fiancing should go higher to keep them with America. Don't cut this fiancing off or there may be an insurgency. I can help with training.

I plan on hiring alot of people. I plan on hiring people like me who need the work and know how to do it.

Warzistan is already a basically a country and I understand the intelligence value of the new country and the insurgency. The NGO money will help alot here. The tribal leaders need someone who is long term.

Don't cut the USAID money off or there may be a problem.


If your dad worked for Kennedy and helped start the peace Corp you must be pushing 60. That's an interesting game plan for a person your age.


Jane - Hrf is referring to Sarah Chayes. I don't know why, but the comment is third person and Hrf - or "wyt" or "pdq" etc., etc is referring to.


Well then I am completely clueless, which undoubtedly Hrf would agree with.


Jane, I am way more clueless than you.

Who the heck is Sarah Chayes?


I think she's the same age as Plame. The same age as alot of people. Fitz went to Harvard and redefined IIPA as not just CIA, but actually exclusionary of CIA.



One more thing:

George, your a real man!

Hiring all those linguists was real smart!!

I like those machines!!!



If Kagan and O'Hanlan say this about Pakistan:

AS the government of Pakistan totters, we must face a fact: the United States simply could not stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss.

I wonder what their prescription is for Iran? Iran is already in the abyss, sure they have a more stable government than Pakistan, but it is already run by the lunatics. If such drastic action is needed in Pakistan, it should also be on the menu in Iran.


George, your a real man!

Harvard appears to be falling down on the job.


Here we go again. Isn't anyone pissed that another plan is revealed to the world.

The Special Forces might be able to help the Pakistanis providing specialist support (for all I know they are already doing so).

Now the world knows what the plan is how is anyone in authority in Pakistan able to support such a plan without being seen as lapdogs of US Imperialism.

At some stage there has to be a way to penalize those who released this information to the press.


I don't know that this isn't disinfo--but hey, A'Jad seems to be falling for it--Supplies from Iran to Iraqi insurgents have fallen off and he's offered to have uranium for his nuke power plants enriched in a neutral country like Switzerland.
Even if the big stick is styrofoam fashioned to look like steel, sometimes that's enough.


The mullahs were never mad.

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