Saturday, November 3, 2007

Post-Musharraf Pakistan

Musharraf has declared a state of emergency in Pakistan. This comes on the heels of three potentially devastating political blows:

  • The return of Benazir Bhutto.

  • The Pakistani Supreme Court agreeing to decide on the constitutionality of Musharraf's reelection.

  • Numerous--and highly publicized--military defeats in the frontier provinces.

The US needs to plan for Musharraf's fall. There seem to be three objectives:

  1. Plan to crush the Taliban and Al Qaeda in North Waziristan before they can infiltrate any further into urban Pakistan. This may be a little late--there are indications that that infiltration has already occurred.

  2. Secure the nukes.

  3. Attempt to soft-land the constitutional crisis by supporting a democratically-elected government. Bhutto seems like our best option here, but all options suck.

There are two essential military missions here, and they're going to raise hell with the Muslim world. But Pakistan can't be permitted to fall into chaos. Free nukes and a metastasizing Al Qaeda are a direct threat to US security.

Update: Bill Roggio's post on this is here.

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