Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore...

Neoconservative Interventionist columnist and policy adviser Robert Kagan is dreaming of a certain kind of international retaliation for the Mumbai attacks:

"Rather than simply begging the Indians to show restraint, a better option could be to internationalize the response. Have the international community declare that parts of Pakistan have become ungovernable and a menace to international security. Establish an international force to work with the Pakistanis to root out terrorist camps in Kashmir as well as in the tribal areas. This would have the advantage of preventing a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It might also save face for the Pakistani government, since the international community would be helping the central government reestablish its authority in areas where it has lost it. But whether or not Islamabad is happy, don't the international community and the United States, at the end of the day, have some obligation to demonstrate to the Indian people that we take attacks on them as seriously as we take attacks on ourselves?

Would such an action violate Pakistan's sovereignty? Yes, but nations should not be able to claim sovereign rights when they cannot control territory from which terrorist attacks are launched. If there is such a thing as a "responsibility to protect," which justifies international intervention to prevent humanitarian catastrophe either caused or allowed by a nation's government, there must also be a responsibility to protect one's neighbors from attacks from one's own territory, even when the attacks are carried out by 'non-state actors.'"

My first reaction, well, abbreviated is WTF?. Is this real or was he just bored, blurting out the first angry reaction that came to his mind? While I tend not to agree with him, I do think he is intelligent, but seriously...? The possibility of this happening, or even it being proposed legitimately, within this international community we are stuck with now, is highly improbable; an international community that speaks through its international institutions like NATO or the UN.

Additionally, if his plan was serious, it would kill any legitimacy the new regime in Pakistan is trying to gain. If the international community had and interventionist strategy forcing itself into your democracy as if you're a failed state, the ability to make any moves to defeat extremism within your borders will be considerably retarded. No government will be able to govern. Essentially Kagan is talking about occupation, without actually saying it. Let's see how things play out here before we get into reactionism. Pakistan is not a failed state.

And aren't these huge interventionist maneuvers what the US seems to be paying for via "non-state actor" resistance these days? Western powers on the ground commanding Pakistan's maneuvers would instantly create insurrection, not only from the intelligentsia, but also violently from the extremists who this action would be targeting. Let's create another magnetic pull for frustrated jihadiyya around the world like we did in Iraq.

Bare bones, fundamentally Kagan is saying the international community should occupy Pakistan. He's not serious is he?

1 comment:

san said...

Don't worry, if you people in the West don't stop the jihadi frankenstein in Pakistan that you created, then we Indians will.

I'm angrily watching the condescending commentaries in the West describing the Indian reactions as "saber-rattling", etc -- as if we're just supposed to take butchery lying down.

That's not going to happen. I will be voting for tougher politicians who will take tougher measures to protect our national security, including fighting wars with states who launch terror attacks against us.

Just rolling over and playing dead is not an option, as much as you'd like us to do that. We're going to respond, and we're going to respond hard.