Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pakistan's Islamic Schools - Hotbeds of Militancy

See article in today's NYT.

I've just started reading Ahmed Rashid's new book, "Descent Into Chaos." It is an incredible analysis of why Pakistan, unstable and armed with nuclear weapons, is terrorism's ground zero. In the book, Rashid questions how NATO can survive as the West's leading military alliance if the Taliban is not defeated and bin Laden remains uncaptured. He goes on to say:

What is at stake in Pakistan is even greater. A nuclear-armed military and an intelligence service that have sponsored Islamic extremism as an instrinsic part of their foreign policy for nearly four decades have found it extremely difficult to give up their self-destructive and double-dealing policies after 9/11, even under the watchful eye of the CIA...

President Bush's embrace of (Pakistan President) Musharraf and the military, rather than of the Pakistani people and the development of state institutions and a democratic process, has created immense hatred for the U.S. Army and America, hatred that penetrates all classes of society. Ninety percent of the $10 billion in aid that the United States has provided Pakistan with since 9/11 has gone to the military rather than development... When the Bush administration continued to back Musharraf in late 2007...Pakistan's middle class was overtaken by feelings of anti-Americanism, making it impossible to persuade Pakistanis to resist the extremists.

...the U.S. attack on Iraq was critical to convincing Musharraf that the United States was not serious about stabilizing the region, and that it was safer for Pakistan to preserve its own national interest by clandestinely giving the Taliban refuge.


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