Wednesday, October 08, 2008
A Pentagon conversation
1. Pakistan needs $100B for its economic survival.
2. Well, money is tight right now. Everybody is asking for bailout.
What would happen if we don't provide $100B assistance to Pakistan?
1. Pakistan is a key ally in the War on Terror. If we don't help her,
the country will destabilize and go in chaos.
2. What do these things mean? Destabilization and chaos.
1. It would mean Pakistan would not be able to pay for the salaries of
government employees including the armed forces. And that would mean
many militarily trained people on the loose. Without immediate
financial assistance Pakistan would not be able to import oil, the
main force running the economy. There would be economic meltdown.
The Rupee would have a free fall. Qualified people would be leaving
the country; business would come to a halt.
2. Yes, one can see all that. But how does it hurt us?
1. There can be discontent. People can join Al-Qaida.
2. How much would it cost to seal the borders, so that no matter who
joins who no undesirable people can come out to hurt us or other
1. That cost can be calculated. But what about the gems? What if in
the ensuing chaos, Al-Qaida gets Pakistan's gems?
2. OK. So, that is the main blackmailing point for the Pakistanis:
help us or else there would be instability and Al-Qaida would grab the
nuclear weapons. Uhmm. What can we do to neutralize Pakistani
nuclear weapons? How much would it cost to do that? It must be a lot
less than $100B Pakistan is asking for.
Pentagon photo, courtesy of GlobalSecurity.org