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ThreatsWatch Interviewed: 'With Bhutto Gone...'

Last night, I was interviewed by Dr. Glazov of Frontpage Magazine regarding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan early Thursday. In reality, the early interview contains analysis that has yet to reach ThreatsWatch pages. While there will be a more complete ThreatsWatch analysis later, a glimpse of the elements can be seen within the Frontpage interview, With Bhutto Gone. . .

It should be noted that instability and disunity are a requirement of any successful insurgency campaign, and an insurgency is exactly what the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance has been executing - albeit in a remarkably patient, methodical 'Death by a Thousand Cuts' fashion. Their goals are two-fold: Establish Pakistan as the base of their envisioned restoration of a caliphate and the acquisition of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, providing them with both horrifying means of attack as well as a newfound deterrence.

Included is also discussion regarding the implications for the region, principally for Afghanistan and India, as well as the likely role of some within Pakistani military and intelligence circles.

As for what the Bhutto assassination means for the United States going forward, I concluded that we are likely at a fork in the road and may be facing a difficult decision regarding Musharraf and Pakistan.

For the US going forward, we may be approaching a time where the US needs to determine if it is going to continue to support Musharraf wholly and stay largely out of Pakistan or confront the danger full-on and unleash a full assault on the tribal regions held by al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Perhaps a recognition that at the end of the day there truly is no defeating al-Qaeda within Pakistan by Pakistan, and that it will require American boots on the ground and assets in the air - whether convenient or not, pleasant contemplation or not. We may be nearing that crucial decision point.

Also keep in mind that, if history is a guide, the decision may be made for us. Consider the recent history of Pakistani leaders who have appointed a new Chief of Army Staff - such as Musharraf did in appointing General Kiyani to take his place. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to contemplate Kiyani overthrowing Musharraf thinking him too divisive for his country to survive. Recall the unspoken synergy of mutual anger held both by Bhutto supporters and al-Qaeda for Musharraf. With her assassination, it could be a perfect storm brewing for al-Qaeda in Pakistan - one that could eclipse the synergistic anger that manifested after Lal Masjid assault and the arrest of Supreme Court Chief Justice Chaudhry.

Recall also that Musharraf himself was appointed Chief of Army Staff by Nawaz Sharif. General Musharraf dispatched of him in short order in a bloodless coup shortly after.

History can tell us many things. But what it cannot tell us is often more troubling. We are now in uncharted waters with an increasingly unstable nuclear power while a bloodthirsty international terrorist organization thrives within its borders. Not even the fall and breakup of the Soviet Union can compare in potential perils.

The coming week is critical, and all events in Pakistan warrant the closest attention.

Read the entire Frontpage interview here.

1 Comment

I sound like a broken record on this, but if we are forced to take military action, it will make more clear than ever how foolish it was not to have taken action 4 years ago when reports were coming out of Waziristan of Taliban/Al Q regrouping.

They've come a long way in those four years from a small, fairly geographically isolated movement, to what they are today.