Pervez Outcomes

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On any other Monday, the top story would doubtless have been the assassination attempt on Pakistan's Gen. Musharraf. At the risk of dampening the justifiably celebratory mood, that's cause for concern: Nuclear armed Pakistan could become dangerous quickly in the even of a power vacuum, and we'd be stretched thin indeed if it became necessary to intervene there..

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  1. Very dangerous indeed. However, we would also have the Indians at our back. This is the 1930s all over again, however we may yet be able to stop it in time (and I don’t think it will be with isolationism).

  2. To steal a quote:
    “America can fight a ten-front war, but eight of them will be fought with nukes.”

  3. I agree that it is incredibly dangerous, but how is it like the 1930’s?

  4. However, we would also have the Indians at our back.

    I suspect the role of India would be a lot more proactive than that. They have the means and the will to attack/invade/destroy/etc Pakistan, if need be, and could do it with a lot less international condemnation than we could.

    Nuclear-armed Pakistani Muslim nutcases are a much larger threat to India than they are to us. I think India would likely act, decisively, while we were still arguing in Congress about whether to go to the United Nations.

  5. Brazil is the most relevant precedent for the situation in Pakistan. In a relatively poweful developing country, one with only shallow traditions of democracy, a general and his cronies seized power in a coup and developed nuclear capabilities in order to become a regional power. The event that precipitateed the abandonment of the nuclear program was the transformation of the country into a democratic republic, with sticks and carrots from the US.

    There is one important difference; Brazil didn’t develop its program in competition with an unfriendly neighbor.

  6. Why should we intervene? They’re clear across the world. And they have their nukes pointed at India, not at the U.S.

    BTW, where are the UN inspectors and their evidence that Pakistan has WMDs?

    The UN should handle this. This should be an international coalition, not the U.S. acting unilaterally.

    Don’t worry about it.

  7. If hardline Islamists were poised to take control of a nuclear armed country, I think even I might be in favor of doing something about it.

  8. What about Iran?

  9. You’re a harline Islamist. You seize control of the Pakistani government and military, including its small nuclear arsenal. You now have a base of activity for your jihadist brethren, a UN seat to hector the Great Satan, an income of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, the ability to use the rule of law to impose godly behavior on millions of Muslims, and the opportunity to use your pretty scary military’s muscle to achieve whatever particular geopolitical ends you’d like. Would you throw that all away to carry out a couple of big terrorist strikes that aren’t going to defeat the US, and will result in swifit military defeat and the end of your true Muslim emirate?

    Iran’s the right example. Pain the ass, make trouble on many different levels, but not the existential threat people assume.

  10. I don’t think that terrorists taking control of the nukes is something we really have to worry about. Were Pakistan to collapse, the entire U.N. would have no choice but to act, as neighboring member states (including India, China, and Russia) would be quite willing to take unilateral action (because no matter how many countries you have on your side, If It’s Not U.N. Sponsored, Then It’s Not Multilateral) were the U.N. to stall out. It is not likely that the terrorists would be able to seize control of the infrastructure to that degree before being wiped out in a fantastic assault.

    World War III, baby.

  11. actually, for the first time, I’m almost agreeing with joe. If the hardline, bin ladeners gained control of a gov’t they probably would be consumed with the desire to maintain power and would sell out their principles to do so. Take the Republican Revolution for example. It only took 6 years for them to outspend Bill Clinton.

  12. sorry, 9. History major. No math.

  13. Loose Russian nukes or germs are a bigger terrorism threat than Pakistan’s governmet.

  14. Pleas allow me to predict that the next target in the WoT will be Syria. Just as soon as we can get Saddam’s signature on an affadavit of some kind. Where do you think the WMD’s are, anyway? Look for a new offensive in late ’04 or early ’05.

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