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02 April 2009

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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

It was not I.

Andy

Pakistan - Israel? I don't get it. What circumstances would find those two in conflict? Neither has much capability to do anything significant to the other.

b

Took a map, checked distances, no chance.

A few cruise missiles from a sub or two, but anything else seems impossible.

The Paks are certainly aware of the danger of a possible disarmament first strike (by India) and will have taken measures against that.

greg0

In looking at the CSIS israelistrikeiran.pdf document, could Israel's Jericho III development threaten Pakistan? Or would Israel need to carefully position its subs before any possible attack on Iran?
The capabilities of Pakistan in regards to hitting Israel is not really what the US wants to hear about. Surely, the Pakistani nukes are 'secured'.
But the CSIS document, while quite thorough technically, speaks in broad generalities on political and social aspects of conflict, except to repeat the phrase, "regional instability and conflict as well as terrorism".
Would the Pakistani government be one of the victims in the wake of any Israel attack on Iran and/or fallout? Even a token ICBM response may be seen as appropriate to the general Pakistani public.

Marcus

There is little chance Israel and less the US would attack Iran much less Pakistan in a serious way.

Obama is not an idiot like his predecessor and more positively(in this case at least) he is not confrontational, we have already seen efforts towards "normalizing" relations with Iran. A unilateral attack by Israel would destroy these diplomatic investments and the Administration would disfavor such destruction.

Save another terror attack Americans would also disfavor such an attack. Americans don't want another expensive and counterproductive war, the focus is on the economy.

Israel stands as uniquely vulnerable as it is powerful due to geography. Take out the Tel Aviv metro area and you virtually destroy half the country. Bibi is a ruthless prick but he is not an idiot. The risk vs reward in the attack scenario is overwhelming against it.

Making your own is not the only way to get enriched uranium in this world and an unprovoked attack on a Muslim country would accelerate the need to take care of the "problem".

Bibi will do what he does best, threaten an attack to distract people from his real strategy: maintain the status-quo to build more settlements and create "facts on the ground" and grind away in the struggle for a "greater" Israel.

Trent

Marcus, "grind." Excellent word choice. It evokes professional poker players who strive not for the multi-million dollar hand but to "earn" 200 bucks a night, 5 nights a week. That is exactly what Israel is doing. Buying time, crying wolf while they steadily erode Palestine.

JohnH

"Pakistan-Israel? I don't get it." It's the same as Iran-Israel, which the colonel explained quite well: "Iran fulfills the need for enemies, enemies that can be defeated and frustrated as a kind of memorial to bygone enemies."

Israel's problem is that it now must go far afield to find worthy enemies and existential threats.

Got A Watch

@marcus - I don't share your optimism there. Bibi and Avigdor seem like just the types who could roll the dice on a risky military adventure. They seem like paranoid schizophrenics to me, reading their public statements, and sociopathic too.

Your argument seems like a best case scenario.

Let's hope the best case prevails, not the worst. I'll leave contemplation of the worst case to the imagination, it would be the biblical Armageddon.

Leanderthal

When Pat Lang, in his response to commenters, used the phrase "an Israel" he was describing a country run by not just hard liners, but irrational idiots. It's that Israel which he believes would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons in an attack on Iran. Big question: is Bibi much more than a prick hard liner? Is he in fact an irrational idiot who can be egged on by Lieberman?

When Pat Lang wonders, we all should wonder.

Patrick Lang

Leanderthal

Frightning thought, that last line.

pl

Charles I

John H., the heading is Pakistan-Israel, as in the direction of flight.

I might be missing something, grego, but the US has sat still for 8 years of double-dealing by the ISI, the Pakistani Army and the government, so what they don't want to hear about doesn't make it go away, really, the reverse.

I have posited a nuclear threat to Israel from Pakistan here previously. If I were a pissed off takfiri jihadi, found myself in possession of a few weapons and missiles, I'd think of Israel. I don't know the current capabilities, but they are only going to increase, surely cruise missile purchases from Chinese could be one of many possibilities.

Its my understanding, I think from posts here, that when the U.S. assisted Pakistan with some kind of passive/safe weapons authority/security program, great care was taken to gain intimate knowledge about the disposition of the Pakistani stockpile, tending to a comfy degree of US confidence in the security, or, if circumstances required, chances of securing/destroying the weapons.

But all for that, a banana peel, Murphy's law and some maladroit diplomacy or crisis management, and who knows what could happen. And nobody really knows what the hell is strewn around the central Asian republics formerly Soviet SSR's. Nothwithstanding Nunn-Lugar, Carlotta Gall's reporting on Chechnya made clear that all systems deployed in theatre were routinely sold to the Chechens by the Russian officers.

We are not in command in Afghanistan or Pakistan, never mind Israel, and surely the new focus on the border area can only further destabilize the Pakistani Government. Israel is obviously not going top make peace. Three years, five years, before Israel rampages again, and Pakistan lurches from incompetent corrupt government to military rule or militant Talibanization. Anything is possible, and I am certain Israel will not be restrained.

I don't think Iran would ever attack Israel, they've said so, there's a fatwa against first use, but I think Pakistan could be a real wild card.

I'm confident Israel is capable of any crime against an Arab or Persian that they thought they could get away with. Eretz Israel encompasses Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Removing the extremely fervent Zionist racists they've planted in the West Bank is obviously politically and logistically beyond the Israeli polity. They'd have to shoot 25% of them. I'm also confident that they'll be destroyed for their trouble. The question remains, will that be before or after an Israeli nuclear attack on Iran?

Norman Cone

Reading the comments like that of Charles I wonder why all this hatred against Israel, why this primitive
anti-Swemitism like "Eretz Israel encompasses Jordan, Syria,Lebanon and Iraq"? Suddenly it's not Ahmadinejad
and the Ayatollahs, not the leaders of Hizbollah and Hamas, it's "Bibi" and "Avigdor" who are sociopathic, irrational and idiots. I think some of these posters should urgently consult theit own
psychiatrists.

Andy

What is the basis for a conflict between Israel and Pakistan? I find the idea that some advocate here that Israel is hunting for a new enemy in Pakistan to be completely unsupported by evidence. In fact, recent years have seen the opposite, with Israel attempting to engage Pakistan, including a meeting of foreign ministers brokered by the Turks in 2005. Unlike Iran, there isn't much basis for a conflict, nevermind that neither Pakistan nor Israel has the military capability to do much of consequence against the other.

Charles,

There is a body of reporting that the US considered giving Pakistan PALS on a couple of occasions, but never did. See more at this link.

curious

speaking of pakistan ...

(somebody better come up with a plan where Pakistan is not part of solution.)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/9/718362/-Holbrooke:-We-Wont-Press-India-for-Peace-with-Pakistan

Consider this spectacular example. New Kerala News reports:

Pakistan's Science and Technology Minister Azam Khan Swati has said that US policies aim to dismantle Pakistan, neutralise Iran and contain China to make India a regional superpower to achieve her objectives.

He further said that NATO's presence in the region was a great threat to the very existence of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Iran as well. "American policies are not of a friend but of a foe and Richard Holbrooke and Mike Mullen are in Pakistan to put a price on our loyalty to our religion and the Islamic State of Pakistan but we are not a saleable commodity," Swati said.

Commenting on the recent visit of the US military and political leadership to Pakistan, he said Obama's Administration was following the conspiracy hatched by then President George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield and would lead America towards destruction.

Swati added the US policy aimed to destroy Pakistani Armed Forces, marginalise state-of-the-art security agency, ISI, and ruin Pakistan. "To achieve its objectives, Americans are spreading hatred in the mind and heart of the people of world by portraying Islamists as cruel, inhuman and threat to humanity, and are trying to divide Pakistani nation on religious basis," he said

curious

not sure how reliable this news is. But Pakistan secret service needs serious reform. They are putting Pakistan in too many conflicts and creating domestic instability.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pakistan/Pakistan-ISI-cleansed-restructuring-on/articleshow/4393318.cms

The controversial ISI has so far had the better of the civilian government, evident in the way it managed to throw a spanner in the 26/11 investigations by shielding some of the key accused, but it did not prevent Qureshi from making the tall claim that the agency has been "cleansed". To be fair to Qureshi, by saying that ISI has been cleansed he has at least admitted the agency's rendezvous with terror in the past.

"Now we are in the process of restructuring ISI. ISI has been cleansed. The present leadership of ISI is very clear that this challenge (of tackling terrorism and extremism) is our challenge," Qureshi said in a TV interview, as he called upon India to resume the composite dialogue process.

Qureshi then went on to claim that ISI has made positive contributions in the fight against terrorism and extremism. "Without ISI's help you could not have apprehended the 700 or so Al Qaida operatives. ISI has done more than any other organisation has done," he added.

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