Pakistan - are they the enemy, or a friend? Or somewhere in between?

Pakistan hates the US more than any other country - that is what the polls say, anyway. Nowhere else do we have a lower approval rating. This opinion likely goes right to the top, perhaps including even the sitting President. It certainly seems to be an integral part of their intelligence agency, which seems to be run more by Al Qaeda than by any other interests. It is no wonder, then, that we had our best successes, and biggest success in the killing of bin Laden, when we stopped including them in our plans. If the beginning of our relationship over this war was a friendly inquiry to look for our lost set of keys, it ended with a rough shakedown and the discovery of our keys in his pocket all along.

We may still have allies there, enough (and enough others who are just afraid of us) to repair our relationship and improve relations between the countries. But we could just be being naive. We certainly were naive about Karzai, and in fact the whole region. Frankly, we Americans learn geography by war before any other means, primarily. Is it a wonder we have so many enemies throughout the world? And are we to believe now, after revealing to the Pakistani's, and to ourselves, the level of infiltration of Al Qaeda into not just Pakistan's politics but into their way of life, that we have a partner who really wants to help us, and who isn't doing everything behind their backs to undermine us? If our relationship is built on need and not mutual trust (and this seems to me to be the case), it is at best a dangerous one. Just a head's up, America!

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It would be nice to have allies in that region who aren't frienemy's. But with the ideological differences thats probably not gonna happen.
Yeah they are intolerant, zealous about religion, socially conservative, and Muslim, and we are all of the same, but Christian. Gee, if only there were some way of coming to common ground with such people... Well, maybe they can come together against their most hated and mutual enemy, hated even more than each other, us atheists? :-O Watch your back people!
As I understand it (ie only just so well, at best), India is as strong an ally as we have in the world. The biggest problem there, I think, is if there is a group moslems hate more than nonmoslems, it is worshipers of a nonabrahamic faith. So any support we give India, only serves to inflame and unify Moslem opposition.

A huge part of how those two countries got nukes was that we understood how they both were concerned about the other. India getting the bomb wasn't good, but we didn't fret over them too much, but we did not have much moral right to insist that Pakistan remain nonnucleure once India made the plunge.

Still India is a good ally to have in that region. Occasionaly it seems as if the main reason we aren't cultivating closer ties w them is that they are not a Christian nation. Hell they are not even monotheistic and are outright pagan.
India got the nuke because China got one. India is less about Pakistan and more about China since Pakistan is seen as their whipping boy. Every so often Pakistan picks a fight and gets pounded flat.

Also India has a larger muslim population than pakistan. It is the second biggest muslim population (Only Indonesia's is larger) in the world. Roughly 300 million...

India is "secular" only in name, it has religious nutcases of the highest calibre. In india muslims suffer at the hands of Hindus. It's not all fun and games since the nutcases haven't done anything to "important people" yet. So far it's just muslims.

Yes I guess India is stronger than we Americans tend to think, or pay attention to.

 

I have heard this, I've heard a few stories about how religion plays out in the lives of Indians and it is remarkable. They have the whole range of witch-doctors, shamans, faith healers, mystics, snake charmers, and other assorted sham-artists. Their culture is still largely under the "spell" of magic, which means that they really don't know what to believe, which way is up, or how to think about the world. We atheists have a big responsibility to educate the world so we can help rid it of dangerous ideas which have control over the minds of most people on earth.

They would attack India with them they simply don't have the range to hit anyone else worth hitting. 

 

We cannot stop the nukes and they will kill. However the terrorists do not care about the counterstroke. Infact it would just drum them up more support. 

 

You cannot fight terror with bullets. You can only fight it by a concerted effort to cut off their support. 

We are not about to let terrorists get their hands on nukes. That is the main force behind our foreign policy objectives. Were that situation to develop, America would have completely failed and lost the war on terror, at that precise moment. Nobody is about to let that happen, and I think the raid which killed bin Laden proved that we will do anything to prevent that from happening. We are now in fact gathering information on ISI, pakistan's intelligence agency, because we suspect them of being complicit with bin Laden and Al Qaeda. We are asking for names and basically conducting an investigation on the whole government of Pakistan. No way we are leaving the area now - Pakistan has just become the main front on the war to prevent terrorists from getting nukes. We will try to make their business our business as much as possible. In other words, we are going to be all up in their grill, and we will interfere with their political process until they get angry about it and tensions boil, and we might all too easily push them too far and push the bombs right into the hands of the people we are trying to keep them from.

That would be a case of "oh really" to a lot of the world.

 

After 20 years or so of terror from Pakistan, India is finally smirking that Pakistan cannot wriggle out of this one while threatening to start raiding terror camps in Kashmir across the Indian border to "solve Pakistan's problems". 

 

It's not a good time to be out there. Pakistan's reliance on such forces has come back to shoot them in the foot. They cannot go a week without some attack or the other now. 

I agree, and I think that's precisely the reason Pakistan has now become the front on the war on terror. We will feel an intense need to stabilize that nation and weed out its corruption. But we seem pretty impotent to manipulate the governments of foreign powers. Generally I think this is probably a good thing, but with Pakistan I am not so sure.
I can't even fathom a return to a man who would be okay with a nuclear holocaust. Do you have any idea of the dangers to our environment from nuclear weapons? We already have climate change, water shortages, food shortages, water poisoning, food poisoning, air pollution, and melting polar caps and you want to throw nuclear weapons into the mix?

My feeling is that they don't understand the gravity of the broader situation, because the gravity of their own situation is pressing on them hard enough for them to even look at the long term. Right now, those who want to fight the terrorists in Pakistan may even be outnumbered by those who are the terrorists, or who support them at least. The recent bin Laden debacle proves this. It seems likely that virtually all ISI (Pakistani intelligence) and many people at very high levels of their military not only knew where bin Laden was, they were hiding him from the Americans just like the Taliban did at the beginning of this war! We cracked open one beehive only to find a much larger hornets nest behind it. Pakistan could quickly become the enemy on a par with Iran and North Korea if the good guys aren't able to get a handle on the bad guys over there and quick.

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