Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Violence in Pakistan is at an all-time high.

The amount of violence, suicide attacks and other ‘conventional’ attacks are at an all-time high in Pakistan. As with many human problems, a single reason is probably over-simplification. Some potential reasons as to why warfare is becoming more ‘popular’ in Pakistan:

1) The Pakistani people are overwhelmingly Muslim. The civil war taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan (And arguably, throughout the Islamic world) is spreading into Pakistan.

2) The elections. Although divided, the Pakistani government is generally seen as being more and more anti-Islamic. President Musharraf is increasingly seen as being an ‘enemy’ of Islam.

3) Although many people in the ‘West’ do not like him, Musharraf and his army are fighting a losing battle against ‘fundamental’ Muslims. They want him dead. They see an opportunity. Pakistan falling into their hands if Musharraf is eliminated.

4) As Musharrafs’ government weakens, violence is stepped up to increase the pressure. Rising violence as the perceived end comes into sight is typical in warfare. The end of the Musharraf government is seen as being close. This observation is a common view in Pakistan as well as throughout the world.

5) One of two outside factors may be at play here: Please note that even though these factors are opposite, the impact can actually be similar, if not the same.
a) Because the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are creating so many new terrorists, the extra forces can be deployed into new areas. Pakistan fits well for a number of reasons. Some listed above and others listed below.
b) Because of the mismatch of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist forces are seeking newer, safer areas of operation. Places where the attacks they launch are more effective, and terrorist forces lose fewer men. Once again, Pakistan fits well for a number of reasons.

6) Pakistan is important. For many reasons. Some have been stated above. In war, the most important objectives are the most fought over. If an important objective is within reach of both sides, this is where typically, the most fighting occurs.

7) The terrain in Pakistan is some of the worst in the world for conventional forces. A good place for irregular forces to initiate battle.

8) Osama is probably in Pakistan, or nearby. It is easier for him (and other leaders who agree with him) to help control the pace of battle as well as give direction.

9) Pakistan has nuclear weapons AND the delivery systems for them to be effectively deployed. This makes Pakistan even more important, for both sides.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joe Six-Pack: I've come to your blog by following your comment on mine. I like your 'about me' statement. It's rather like my own philosophy I think. I tell my students that the supreme scholarly qualities are curiosity, honesty and modesty. Curious people ask good questions. Your only hope of getting to a truthful answer lies in being honest about what you see. And modesty keeps you from falling for your own BS. There's a Taoist saying that I really like: the more you know, the less you understand. Perhaps it's a bit over the top but it fits with my experience of scholarship. Anyway, nice blog
    David Betz