Yesterday NonPak-istan released from jail Zauvir Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai. That drew a predictably immediate and helpless reaction from India. The only US TV anchor who discussed this release was Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. Listen to the emotion and disgust in her voice in her interview:
The US State Department was much more restrained. According to the Fox News article, spokesman Jeff Rathke said U.S. officials were “gravely concerned” about Lakhvi’s release and considering what steps to take next to encourage Pakistan to bring the suspected terrorists to justice.
Just two days prior to Lakhvi’s release by NonPak-istan, the United States announced it was close to a billion dollar arms deal with NonPak-istan that includes attack helicopters, 1,000 Hellfire missiles etc. The purpose of this deal, per Reuters, is to “improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia” according to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
Releasing Lakhvi just two days after the announcement of this billion dollar arms deal is par for the course for NonPak-istan. So would the US consider the simple step of canceling the billion dollar arms deal with NonPak-istan or at least putting it on ice? Forget about it.
Indians expressed their typical reactions on Twitter. A typical tweet was from a police chief in India, a senior man presumably involved in counter-terrorism operations:
- “US approves arms worth $1 bn to Pak. Will the US ever learn? Not even after Abbottabad?”
1. Who Needs to Learn – US or Indians?
The tweet points to the prevailing view among English-educated Indians that Americans are naïve and fooled by the NonPakistanis. They have been waiting patiently for decades asking “will the US ever learn?”. They thought America learned its mistake when 9/11 happened. They thought America had finally understood its mistake when President Bush formally de-hyphenated India & NonPak-istan. They were convinced America had finally finally learned its mistake when Osama Bin Laden was taken out by American special forces in Abbottabad. Surely America would change its thinking after NonPak-istan so brazenly hid Osama near its military area, right? They are still waiting as the above tweet shows.
Despite all of the above, Indians still cling to the idea that Americans are being “fooled” by smart NonPakies. This is why White American writers/analysts who openly write about the reality of NonPak-istan becomes instant celebrities in India and their books are avidly read by Indians. The belief is that if White American analysts show the reality to US Government, then may be US will listen & understand. When that doesn’t happen, Indians sigh and cling to the wait for that inevitable moment when “dumb” Americans will finally learn. Because the mere thought that America helps, nurtures, and arms NonPak-istan with full understanding of what that regime is & does would be beyond the comprehension of most Indians. That is because they are the true “dumb” people who need to learn the lessons of realpolitik.
2. NonPak – Vital to US Foreign Policy
Whatever American policy makers might be, they are neither naïve nor dumb. They fully understand the reality of the NonPak-istani regime. They don’t care because that regime is vitally important to US Foreign policy interests.
No one in America has the remotest inclination of imagining an ungovernable Iraq-like NonPak-istan, let alone a Syria-Libya-Yemen like instability in Non-Pak. So US policymakers will do whatever is minimally necessary to keep that military regime in place. The NonPak military knows this and so they exact a price when US needs something from them.
Secondly, the US venture in Afghanistan made NonPak military class even more important. We don’t just mean delivery of supplies to US forces via NonPak-istan. The unspoken need is Iraq-like. What if Afghanistan blows? What if an ISIS-like entity takes root in Afghanistan? What if large numbers of ground troops are needed for military operations in Afghanistan? There is only one army that can help in Afghanistan – the NonPak army. And since 9/11, US has demanded and been given broad & deep access inside NonPak-istan by that military regime.
Thirdly, NonPak is also a potential asset for US in the Middle East. The expanse from the Levant to Afghanistan is becoming one battle theater and NonPak could be valuable in that theater, probably the most valuable at the eastern end. And Sunni NonPak boxes in Shia Iran better than any other neighbor of Iran.
So you have a regime that has a superbly strategic geography, an amenable & sometimes pliable military and a semi-stable society. And America can keep them as “ally” for a trivial annual sum of $1.5 billion You couldn’t invent a more convenient, suitable & inexpensive “ally” than NonPak-istan.
Finally, NonPak serves a critical purpose for America, the same purpose that led colonial British to create that regime when they left. British-run India was a strategic monster reaching from the Straits of Hormuz to the Straits of Malacca, the two most important sea lanes in the world. From its location, British-run India could exert strategic dominance in the near Mideast and in the near Fareast.
There was no way the British were going to allow independent India retain this enormous strategic landmass. So they partitioned India and created the NonPak state to limit & restrict Indian reach. Today, India is cutoff from Central Asia & the Middle East by NonPak and from South East Asia by BanglaDesh that was originally a part of NonPak. The military class of NonPak serves the same interests for America & China that they served for the British – a useful and effective limiter of Indian strategic reach.
So why on earth would America ever give up its “special” relationship with NonPak?
3. What are the risks to America of this embrace of NonPak?
Frankly, none today. Because India is neither Israel nor Iran. Israel is quick to retaliate because of its nature and because Israel has achieved clear military domination over its neighbors. India has not. The Indian Army is simply not capable of delivering a crushing blow to the NonPak army. And more importantly, there is zero appetite in India for any such military venture against NonPak. There are two reasons for that:
- Indian society has been defeated & occupied by foreign invaders for 1,000 years. Indians are used to getting hundreds of Indians killed in military & terrorist attacks. They tend to thank their stars that their families survived and go about earning their livelihood. So the idea that Indian military should attack NonPak in retaliation for terrorist attacks against India is anathema to the majority of Indians especially if such attack were to cost India a reverse retaliation.
- Indians are totally focused today on improving their standard of living and becoming prosperous. So their appetite for any military action that could slow down economic growth is very limited.
NonPak knows this. That is why their treatment of India is contemptuous and very unlike how they treat Iran. They respect the covert capabilities Iran has to hurt NonPak. In contrast, India has not developed any such covert capabilities to punish NonPak for bad behavior.
America knows this too. US policy makers know that America is vitally critical to India for economic growth and they know that the Indian people have limitless ability to withstand horrific attacks with relative equanimity. So America has never had to choose between India & NonPak and America has never had to worry about its standing in India being seriously damaged because if what it gives NonPak.
So the America-NonPak-India cycle continues and will continue until something changes – either India becomes today’s need for America or a more prosperous India begins to “sanction” America for arming its enemy. But that is a worry for the next Administration or the one after that.
Editor’s Note: Regular readers know that we have formally deleted the word Pak-istan from this Blog. Because the utterly heinous term means land of the “pak” or religious pure, a name that serves as justification for religious cleansing of Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Ahemadiya & Shia Muslims. The more correct term for that regime is NaPak-istan. But we practice journalistic temperance and so use the neutral NonPak-istan term. Western people have rejected “master race” as a valid concept and would never tolerate that term as name of a state. Yet, they blithely use Pak-iStan. Is that because the victims are Indian & not European? Note that “master race” is a much more moral term than “Pak-istan” because a master race needs servant races while a “pak” regime is forced to cleanse out impure religions to keep their land “pak”.
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