It’s been… six days since my nonsensical post and, for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was going to be about. Must not have been too important, right?
There’s a lot going on in this world right now. I’m happy to still be a part of it, despite my disagreeing with the methodology that most people seem to be using to justify… anything, really.
I had an interesting conversation with one of my publishers the other night about the difference between an IED (improvised explosive device) and state-sponsored terrorism. This came up after a brief discussion about the state of warfare and the future. I made a point of mentioning the amount of crap American troops go through in a war zone and she countered with the amount of training needed to field one quality soldier. We then delved into the Pakistan-U.S. issue, which is flying under the radar right now due to the #Occupy movement.
For those of you who cannot read a news article without being told what it is trying to say, Pakistan-U.S. relations are very strained right now due to the discovery of Pakistan doing a very less-than-adequate job of stopping the bomb materials from slipping into neighboring Afghanistan. This… development has led to the Afghan Pres. Karzai to go as far as to say that if war broke out between Pakistan and the U.S., he wouldn’t be our ally. This may seem like a stab in the back to the U.S., but it’s a very astute move by Karzai. More on that in a bit.
But the definition of an IED is just that — an improvised device build to blow stuff up. A grenade is not an IED. A remote controlled car with a homemade pipe bomb strapped to it is. The difference is about who built it, not the amount of damage it can do. Any factory which builds bombs in a country and then is given to insurgents to use is state-sponsored terrorism. Some yokel building a bomb out of his fertilizer and blowing it up is an IED. See? Easy.
…which is what makes the Pakistan development so very interesting.
If you read the news, you’d think that all we were finding out is that trace chemicals in IED’s are being traced back to Pakistan. This is troubling but most of us here in the U.S. merely think “Well, we need to stop them from buying stuff at Radio Shack!” However, if you read between the lines, we’re finding a lot more from these IED’s than anyone wants to admit.
I know, I’m sounding like a conspiracy theorist right now. I’m sorry.
Okay, so on to the comment I made about Karzai being sharp for seeming to have turned his back on us. It’s simple, really — the U.S. has never gone to war with another country that has nuclear weapons. Afghanistan is right next door to Pakistan. The U.S. is over 7000 miles away. When the missiles fly, who do you think is bearing the brunt of this (outside of India, that is)? I can promise you that it won’t be the mainland U.S.
So he’s keeping his country out of a potential war. Smart. He’s got two wars going on already in his land, no need for a third, right?
Someone’s thinking for a change.
Too bad nobody else is.
3 thoughts on “Karzai the… Intelligent?”
Pakistan has concerned me for a long time, Jason. You’re not alone in your belief that there’s a lot of trouble going on there that’s flying under the radar.
Granted, what’s going on here in the US due to economic turmoil and a lack of any intelligent action in Washington DC by anyone isn’t helping, but I can focus on international relations (bad in that part of the world, and not getting any better) as well as our domestic “time of troubles” (which is really bad right now and not getting any better).
I see this post as a thoughtful explanation of why wars happen, though you didn’t explicitly say so — and describing the difference between an IED and a grenade is always worth the price of admission.
Pakistan and India are going to finish this war one day, and it’s not going to be pretty. I would say with some confidence that if 9/11 hadn’t happened, it already would have.
We gamed something similar in 1999 while I was in the military and the parallels which triggered the conflict are very similar to what we’re seeing now in Afghanistan.
I respect your opinion, and yet I wish you weren’t right. I think you _are_ right — I know I’ve been worried about Pakistan for at least ten years, too, for many of the same reasons. That both Pakistan and India have low-level nukes and very poor “distant early warning” systems is enough to give me nightmares.
I definitely think that finding good and graceful ways out of that area of the world is a priority. I think the State Department is trying to do that under Mrs. Clinton. But they can only do so much; _any_ diplomat is hampered by the facts here, that there’s little DEW stuff around there, yet both of these rather unstable places have low-level nukes. I don’t think the threat of “mutually assured destruction” works overly well in that part of the world, either . . . wish it did, but I don’t think their worldview is remotely the same as ours in this matter. (What say you?)