August 9, 2010

WE MUST PRESERVE WHAT NO ONE WANTS:

Understanding Pakistan's military (Anatol Lieven, 9 August 2010, Open Democracy)

The Pakistani military is the only Pakistani state institution which works as it is officially meant to – which means that it repeatedly does something that it is not meant to, which is to overthrow what in Pakistan is called “democracy” and seize control of the state from other institutions. The military has therefore been seen as extremely bad for Pakistan’s progress, at least if that progress is to be defined in standard western terms.

On the other hand, it has also always been true that without a strong military, Pakistan would most probably long since have disintegrated. That is more than ever true today, as the country faces the powerful insurgency of the Pakistani Taleban and their allies. The Taleban threat makes the unity and discipline of the Army of paramount importance to Pakistan and the world – all the more so because the deep unpopularity of US strategy among the vast majority of Pakistanis has made even the limited alliance between the Pakistani military and the US extremely unpopular in Pakistani society, and among many soldiers.


Because it is an artificiality, that is vital to Pakistan. The rest of the world's interests are obviously best served by devolving the place into its constituent parts that can govern themselves.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 9, 2010 5:56 PM
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