Archive for May 15th, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Washington and Islamabad: Dupe or Dump

It’s easy to see that the Abottabad operation (aka Neptune Spear) which killed Osama bin Laden has caused ill-feeling in Pakistan (and it would have caused, umm, ill feelings in America  if the Obama administration had missed the opportunity to capture or kill the man.) That said, I’m not very familiar with the issues, and can’t  judge if

the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis reveals that the US is “enemy number one” and has the status of a foe,

as Pakistan’s The News quotes (unnamed) defence experts.
But I can imagine that Islamabad’s leeway to account to the public, for its – even if duplicitous – alliance with America, is getting smaller with each independent American military operation on Pakistan’s soil. There isn’t much coverage of Pakistani public opinion in our media – but that public does exist, too.

Operation Neptune Spear: just porn?

Operation Neptune Spear: just porn?

How sure should we be that the environment for US interests in Pakistan won’t deteriorate, as its operations in Pakistan continue without explicit agreement? And if Islamabad openly “dumped” the alliance with Washington, or vice versa – would American operations become easier, or more difficult?

Pakistan, almost for sure, would then be a failed state for good. Would the Obama administration want to undertake the task of rebuilding it?

That wouldn’t go down well with American public opinion.

I can’t tell how far one can go in interpreting the law of nations, or how far one should go. But they weren’t written for the sake of devotion. Not everyone who advocates respect for them is necessarily a dreamer. We might have done away with many principles of state-to-state relations if they weren’t actually very practical.


» “No longer prepared to listen”, Washington Post, May 15, 2011
» “No one is going to believe them”, Pakistan Observer, no publishing date given (but apparently of May 15)

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