Sunday, November 04, 2007

Musharraf Declares "Emergency"

In case you weren't paying attention yesterday (like me) President Pervez Musharraf has declared a national emergency and abandoned the national constitution. Elections will be delayed indefinitely, and Pakistani security forces are now busy rounding dissidents. Bush administration officials who had some advance warning of Musharraf's plans warned him not to act, but were ignored. This NY Times analysis could be summarized simply as "we're screwed."

And indeed we are, in more ways than one. Pakistan has gotten billions in aid for us to battle militants who support Al Qaeda in western Pakistan, but Pakistan has always been an uncertain ally at best in the "war on terror"; many in Pakistan's military and security forces are sympathetic to the militants (or find that they have their uses at least) and Musharraf has always been forced to play a delicate balancing game between his own needs and ours. Unfortunately, Pakistan probably lacks the ability to completely eradicate the militants even if we asked them to, and this won't help. The only way the threat was ever going to dissipate would be broader political transformation to democracy, and that has been undone yet again.

1 comment:

adam said...

Great, this is horrible for democracy *and* our Faustian deal has never really paid off. I heard Rice is looking into our aid to them, but I doubt they'd cut it off.