Obama and Pakistani Politics

Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

Related Post Roulette

8 Responses

  1. E.D. Kain says:

    You make a very strong case for not getting embroiled in this sort of geopolitical cluster to begin with.Report

  2. Bob says:

    Perhaps I missed it, but neither you or the article you link mention the reason the Court barred Nawaz Sharif from running for office.

    This from the AP, “The court was hearing appeals against a ruling barring Sharif from contesting elections because of a criminal conviction dating back to his overthrow in a coup by former dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 1999. It was also considering allegations of irregularities in brother Shahbaz’s election to the provincial parliament.”Report

  3. scott says:

    I agree with Mr. Kain. Aside from the moral aspects of telling (or forcing) other countries to do our bidding, there’s the practical aspect – we’re utterly clueless about most other countries in the world, how they work, who the players are, etc. What makes anyone think that our assistance (ie, meddling or dominance) is going to do these places any good?Report

  4. Chris Dierkes says:


    It’s true the Sharif brothers are no saints to put it very mildly. But basically every big name Pakistani pol is corrupt. When his wife was PM, current Prez Zardari was known as “Mr. 10%”–ie the cut he got on everything. He used his ties to her to form all kinds of illegal, shady business deals. So if Sharif can be withheld from office via corruption charges than Zardari shouldn’t be President. Except that Zardari has his dudes in the Court and not the other way around.Report

  5. Chris Dierkes says:

    ED, Scott

    No two ways about it. This is a 15 dimensional chess game simultaneously. Here unlike Iraq or Iran there is an actual danger (albeit generally overhyped) that an attack on the US soil could emanate from this region of the world if left unchecked. I think the better position for the US would be to foster regional security agreements–that Sec. Clinton welcomed Iran back to talks on Afghanistan is a good start in that direction.

    I imagine they’ll try some population-centric COIN thing in Afghanistan which I’m sure could reduce violence somewhat but I’m not sure what it could do politically other than cement a further fragmentation of the country. If they are hoping for both a COIN and a strongman type (like Maliki?) and the Pakistani Army taking it to the ungoverned areas, boy that’s a lot to ask.Report

  6. William says:

    Zardari is the most pro-American of the civilian politicians in Pakistan.

    Right — and in this sentence you sum up the problem, that “pro-Americanness” is not the property that Pakistanis vote on but it’s a property that they’re very aware of. So a corrupt pro-American can discredit pro-Americanism; a trustworthy anti-American can inflame anti-Americanism. If US policy was built on supporting the party that seemed to likely to do the best job of running the country well (and in a somewhat democratic fashion, which rules out the otherwise tolerable Musharraf) rather than the one that seemed most “pro-American” regardless of compentance/cleanness, I think things would work out better in the long run. (Even better — be willing to work with anyone who falls within a fairly broad range of acceptability and beyond that don’t try to influence outcomes at all. But this might be too much to hope for).Report

  7. Rana Mudassar Ahmed says:

    In Pakistani politics two elements are very important first is Washington and second is Pakistan Army. In this time Washington standing with Pakistani Politician in history Washington always was with Pakistan Army but now they want to destroy power of Army first they attacked on I.S.I in short words Washington playing a worse game to destabilize Pakistan.
    Inside story is different that Pakistan is an atomic power of world and U.S.A has not been accepted as Atomic power to Pakistan they want to divide Pakistan and I.S.I is Pakistan’s first line of defence, so it’s easy to understand why Indian and U.S.A blaming to I.S.I., U.S.A will never do any thing for Intrest of Pakistan U.S.A always want to see violence in Pakistan.Report