Rep. Bachmann on Pakistan

She's good and right on the question she takes on here.  Let's review Pakistan's relationship with the United States.

Pakistan signed a mutual defense agreement with the United States in 1954.  In 1965, it fell into war with India over the Kashmir vale.  The terms of the agreement suggest we should have backed them up; we did not, but declared something like neutrality in the conflict.  Of course, we were involved in Vietnam at the time, and the Cold War, and this was a distraction from that twilight struggle; but we broke our word.

A second war in 1971 produced significant American support for Pakistan -- and also their greatest loss in their history as a nation.  The American perspective on this conflict is that we did all we could do, being constrained by the Soviet Union and China (then working with India, ironically enough).  The Pakistani perspective, I learned from listening to their liaison officer at USCENTCOM last summer, was that America let them down.  We were supposed to 'mutually defend' them, and they lost almost half their territory.

Add to that the current issues over the drone strikes -- which the US continues to execute in spite of the clear statement by Pakistan's legislature that it opposes them because of civilian casualties -- and we have a menu of complaints on offer.  We continue to carry out those strikes not with their permission (as in Yemen) but in violation of their sovereignty as a nation state.  

In other words, some of Pakistan's complaints are invalid -- but others are not entirely unfair.

There isn't a happy relationship here, but there is a relationship.  We're better off when it's stronger than otherwise.  Pakistan is divided internally between factions that support anti-US forces, and factions that oppose them for reasons of their own.  We have to play in this game.  

The lady is right, in other words; and by the way, Fallon ought to fire his band.  Go hire some of those OWS drummers; whatever else can be said for the movement, those guys have their moments.  And clearly they're unemployed, so you can probably get them for a reasonable rate.

(H/t for the video:  DL Sly.)


Dad29 said...

Gee. The US screwing its allies.

We could ask Diem about that, but it's too late.

douglas said...

I'm still waiting for someone when asked about Pakistan to explain that it's almost silly to talk about our relationship with Pakistan the couintry- It's far more complex than that, and we have varied relationships with the Governing Party, the ISI, and other factions that have power in the country- talking about Pakistan as a singular entity is already a misreading of our problems there.