Tuesday, November 29, 2011

what was that?

what happened on the afghan-pakistan border last weekend makes no sense. this wasn't just a stray bomb hitting pakistani forces, it was a sustained two hour attack against two different pakistani military posts that continued even after the pakistanis sent news of the assault up their chain of command. in other words, it doesn't look anything like a mistake.

on the other hand, attacking pakistan does not serve u.s. interests at all. even if the pakistanis were attacking u.s. forces, it wouldn't be worth it to attack back. the u.s. depends on the country to supply its troops and to base its drones. it really can't afford to have pakistan cut that off, at least not as long as the u.s. is mired in afghanistan. which makes it look like a mistake after all. why else would the u.s. military do something so stupid?

of course pakistan is pretty dependent on the u.s. the dirty secret is that the u.s. funds a significant chunk of the pakistani military budget, which is why any cut-off will probably be quietly uncut once public attention wanders away. so why while the relationship can have its ups and downs, neither side will let it end completely. but that doesn't mean the pakistanis won't make the stuff the americans depend upon--access to bases to launch drones, use of airspace, and use of pakistan to supply NATO forces in afghanistan--more difficult.

the u.s. has promised an investigation of the incident. but i don't think there's much chance that we will ever hear the real story of what happened. it's all tied into the complicated dysfunctional relationship between the u.s. and pakistan. and those interested parties are the ones who would be providing the evidence for the investigation. i don't think there's any real chance that the truth will make it through that convoluted path.