Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nicholas Schmidle On How To Save Pakistan -- A Commentary

A Pakistani police officer, taking shelter behind an armored vehicle, aimed his weapon at demonstrators in Islamabad on Friday. Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

From Captain;s Journal:

Nick Schmidle has written an essay in Slate on How to Save Pakistan. Nick, with whom I have exchanged e-mail, is not only a first rate Pakistan and Taliban scholar (see his work on Next-Gen Taliban), but an all around nice guy (and if he sends me a copy of his new book, I would give it a great review). He deserves to be read by anyone interested in the future of Asia and its implications for our own security. Parts of his piece are reproduced below.

This is the only country in the Islamic world where tens of thousands protest in the streets for the rule of law. Sure, there’s some support for the Taliban and their ilk, but as last year’s election, in which the Islamist parties were drubbed, showed, the Islamists don’t enjoy as much grass-roots support as their American-flag-burning rallies would suggest. (Unfortunately, the civilian government that took power last spring has squandered much of its goodwill and is, like Pervez Musharraf’s government before it, increasingly seen as toadying to the Americans.) So what can Washington do to save Pakistan?

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