Prophets of doom are working overtime these days; and their prophecies center around Pakistan. They either predict Pakistan’s collapse or suggest its break-up or “balkanization” as an option to sort out its problems.
The reason Pakistan is increasingly becoming a favorite topic of these debates is its frail economy and dwindling popularity of the democratic dispensation cobbled together by the US and its allies. The situation has developed into this over a period of three years and is God-gifted for them. The country was happy and prosperous as it was not in the clutches of IMF a few years ago and was stable attracting foreign and domestic investment with a sustainable portfolio of external debts. Oil prices, energy crisis, inflation and floods have played havoc of such a scale with its economy that every Tom, Dick and Harry has started foretelling what he likes, completely ignoring the fact that Pakistan is a force to reckon with; having nuclear assets and one of the best military machines of the world.
Notwithstanding the fact that their prophecies are at best the most laughable, these prophets of dooms, unwittingly, predict deadly scenarios for the USA including its annihilation in nuclear attacks to its total economic melt-down a la USSR due to un-sustainable military spending and unscrupulous support for Israel. Dr. Andrew Krepinevich, a military futurist prophesizes in his book, 7 Deadly Scenarios that America’s biggest threat are rogue nuclear states like North Korea and possibly Iran, China’s rise to a great power status, the still powerful remains of the Soviet Union, and terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
His first scenario in the book centers on a possible collapse of Pakistan’s government which in his view has a recent history of numerous attempted assassinations, an inability to govern all its territory, a military and intelligence service divided between loyalist and Islamic factions, a largely young, undereducated and unemployed population, and now widespread dissatisfaction with its government’s inability to satisfactorily respond to a recent flood disaster. Finding Pakistan’s 80-120 nuclear weapons spread among several sites would be very difficult, and they could end up exploding in India or the U.S.
Possibly insecure nuclear arms of Russia constitute a second deadly scenario with a loose Russian nuke exploding in an American city. Another scenario is based on China attacking nearby American naval assets with mines, submarines, and its anti-ship supersonic cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as destroying or disabling our communication satellite and Internet capabilities as part of its ‘reunification’ effort with Taiwan. Yet other scenarios include Iran and/or terrorists closing narrow straits used to transport Mid-East oil, a man-made plague causing pandemonium in North America, and Iran launching a nuclear attack on Israel.
The author also unwittingly creates more of the same scenarios as deadly as those he is trying to avoid. The first of these is sovietizing the USA; economically bleeding it the way USSR was made to bleed in Afghan war. Now USA is exposed to the risk of economic collapse through tipping it into economic bankruptcy via excessive military spending. US military and Homeland Security together already spend as much as the rest of the world combined, and would undoubtedly further increase both this spending and existing $72 trillion in government debt and unfunded liabilities.
USA is also exposed to the risk of troubles due to its failure to recognize that its international meddling has unintended consequences. For example, defending Israel against Iran risks gravely challenging both Iran’s major allies – Russia and China. Basil & Spice in its review of the book say that USA needs to recognize that Israel has already brought it the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s and 9/11, and repeatedly embarrassed the U.S. by its abuse of the Palestinians. Similarly, USA’s nuclear support for India to ‘balance’ China and Pakistan creates new trip-wire risks of serious military conflict.