What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Now that is radikäl...

Bruce Riedel wrote an essay for the National Interest which is quite radikäl IMO. An Armageddon scenario for Pakistan... A joint Taliban/LeT takeover of Pakistan's government... A parallel army set up to control Pakistan's vast military... Then war by others against Pakistan to stop the sponsoring of terrorism and insurgency... A few nuclear strikes here and there, in India, Afghanistan, some Gulf states, possibly in the US (the means of delivery being humans in the latter case)... Pyrrhic victory over a jihadist Pakistan...

I still think what I wrote back on June 8, which is: "In the end, the greatest concern was not that the Taliban would end up occupying Islamabad or Karachi in a continuous expansion out from the FATA. It was rather a gradual spread of their ideological appeal in the rural areas on the one hand, and the generally bad consequences of the growing extent of areas within Pakistan affected by the fighting."
It is probably not just a question of time-horizon that there is, as a debate between my position and Riedel's. I am not simply arguing that the bad things Riedel is talking about could only happen much further down the road, and only depending on a number of variables that shall shape conducively to this kind of worst-case scenario. There are important conceptual issues, too, that I would take up when it comes to an interpretation and a critical evaluation of the "jihadist state" scenario. Like, definitions of "jihadist" and "state," for example.
Update: This is a sentence from Riedel that I find thought-provoking (or maybe just simply provoking): "Pakistan today is a country in the intensive-care ward of the global state system." I just wanted to highlight it, while I will leave it to you to reflect on it.

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