Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Comment on the Belmont Club
"The real thing"

And the generals — where are they?

My guess is that the generals are turning turtle. They can either resign dramatically (few will) or try to protect their own little world until the storm passes. What is extremely unlikely is any coordination that leads to a Seven Days in May conspiracy. That simply isn't in the culture in the US military. Communication means exposure and exposure means risk. Survival depends on focused inward routinization of process. Generals who survive this will offer no new plans that would require organizational growth or systems development. They will probably get busy instead documenting the effort they are putting into base safety programs and anti-smoking campaigns.

Pakistan is like 18th century Prussia, an army with a country attached. Unfortunately for them they lack neighbors they can dominate, a population acquiescent to the concept of national unity and a Fredrick the Great. Fortunately for everyone they lack pre-21st century Germans (although Pushtuns are close) and a culture of innovation. They lack the benefits of the European Enlightenment and capital growth.

Pakistan is not an American ally. It is an ally of China and occasional client of the US. Given the conditions alluded to in the top half of my comment we can expect no bold measures that would redraw the map and decisively defeat the forces in Quetta, Islamabad and Riyadh that are opposed to Western (or for that matter Indian Eastern) Civilization. The best that we can hope for is that in Afghanistan and in Iraq the American presence will leave a residue of awareness that there is another path. Over time that may complicate the efforts of the totalitarians to impose a gray uniformity over a fractious landscape.

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