Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Ugly Business of Realpolitik

As I've long said, Pakistan is the black sheep of our alliance. We need them despite the problems they cause us. Victor Hanson states the problem well:

For those of us who are sick of Pakistan in general, it would nevertheless be necessary to explain what might be a better strategy than the present one, or why our present requirements are not really that important: It is easy to mock the present diplomacy, but far harder to come up with one better as long as we are in Afghanistan, and Pakistan uses fears about its nuclear arsenal for all sorts of advantage. For the present, then, we will probably try to mend fences, continue the pretense, and rack our brains for a better strategy that does not subsidize those who are helping to kill American soldiers.

Explain to me how, without Pakistan as an ally, we can keep a nuclear-armed power out of the hands of jihadis (or from collapsing to allow nukes to flow to jihadis), supply our troops in landlocked Afghanistan, and win the war in Afghanistan without at least some help at beating down the jihadi sanctuaries inside Pakistan?

I'm sick of Pakistan. I've expressed my frustration. I'd love to hear a way out of this problem. But I don't see one. We're stuck. Well, I do see one way to at least start the solution. But that isn't happening, eh?

Until we find an alternative to supporting the Pakistan we have, we suck it up and wait for a chance to solve the problem of Pakistan. I certainly have some level of sympathy for the problems that Pakistan faces. But not enough to think we should stick by them when we no longer have to.