Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The coming apocalypse

The editor of has a dire prediction

  • Back to the last-known ultra-hawk on Pakistan. Editor should clarify he is the last of the immediate post-independence generation. But there is a new generation of Indian ultra-hawks coming up. Unlike the editor, who was lonely voice calling in the wilderness - gosh, Editor is so poetic, this new generation is emerging in great numbers - millions, perhaps tens of millions. Editor was tolerated by the Indian establishment because the Indian establishment used to tolerate an immense amount of dissent. He had no following, and his calls for a war to reunite the subcontinent or face the destruction of India was considered amusing - among Editor's supporters, and of no consequence among his detractors. Every time he called the establishment traitors, poltroons, corrupt this and thats because the Government wouldn't go to war, he was ignored (except once, which is the reason he's here in America and not back in America, but that's another story). In other words, Editor was a complete non-entity in the circles that matter.

  • But this new lot, now in their 20s-50s, has the power of numbers. They will come to power when Editor has gone to his heavenly reward (okay, we exaggerate - down to the Hot Place), but perhaps someone will remember that the Editor predicted their rise.

  • So shouldn't Editor be delighted that this will happen? Not one bit.

  • You see, Editor is among the last of the generation who does not, despite all the wars, regard Pakistanis as enemies. He regards them as wayward brethren, led astray by their political leaders - and India's - into accepting Partition when the evidence of millennia says an India that does not control the Northwest will have no security. This is not some emotional attachment to the place of his birth, because frankly he was a child and has no memory of it. Its simply a cold calculation of the national security calculus.

  • But: and this is the point here - the new generation does regard Pakistanis as enemies. The Indo-Pakistan wars were relatively clean matters of honor between brothers. But the terrors and insurgencies Pakistan has unleashed on India are dirty, brutal, and horrific. The 20-50s have grown up in a completely different environment. On an abstract level, of course these young Indians know the people of Pakistan are not their enemies, that they are victims of a six-decade old military-feudal-political nexus that has pillaged Pakistan and the people can go hang.

  • At the same time, this new generation does not care. If 10- to 50-million Pakistanis have to die to end the Pakistan problem, they have no problems with that. Increasingly, they want Pakistan gone, and how it is made to be gone is not something they are interested in.

  • This growing up generation (or generations) does not accept the classic Indian muddle-on-regardless way of life that characteristics India. They want things done, and they want them done right. Many have embraced the "can do" philosophy of America. To them, Pakistan is a cancer, and how do you deal with a cancer? You don't negotiate with a cancer.  You kill it.

  • So is Editor saying 10-years from now or 20-years from now India is going to go for an all-out war that could even involve N-weapons? Well, yes and no. The no part is the date: Editor cannot say when this will happen. The yes part is, it will happen, and if nuclear release has to be ordered, the new generation will order it.

  • Before everyone starts having a fit, please realize the Indian economy is at least six times if not more bigger than Pakistan's. India has at least six times more people. India's conventional superiority is so great that it does not need to consider any nuclear strike.

  • But see - that's the Editor talking. The new generation is not going to sit around after attacking Pakistan, and wait for Pakistan to make the first N-move, say a few warheads aimed at an Indian strike corps inside Pakistan. (That's not going to stop the strike corps, but we digress.) It will take as a starting assumption that India must set the parameters for any potential N-use that results from an Indian attack on Pakistan. In other words, if the strategists say India will have to begin the offensive with a Pakistan-wide preemptive strike, the new generation will do what it has to do.

  • We're not worried about Pakistani retaliation, and we wont here discuss why not. What we're concerned is that millions of innocent Pakistanis could die. More than that, we're worried that the new lot will NOT want to absorb Pakistan. They will destroy the country, and sow the land with salt. They will make sure it is not a threat for 50-years, or 100-years. Aside from a few minor adjustments of the international border, and the recapture of Kashmir, India will leave the rest of Pakistan alone, because it does not want another couple of hundred Muslims to deal with.

  • But, see, that's not going to solve India's security problem. As it is we are threatened by Pakistan's growing instability. What's left of Pakistan after the Indians finish with it will be many times more unstable, and many times more dangerous. In other words, war as the new lot will plan and execute will not help India.

  • This is not a scenario. It is a prediction, written in shorthand, by an analyst (the Editor) who tends more than most to speak in much compressed phrases.

  • Just remember you read it here.