Regimes & Radicals

Expedience dictates that we turn a blind eye to the corruption that plagues governments that we consider are allied to our fight against terrorism. These governments often brutalise their own peoples and the resultant impetuosity provides the backdrop for radicalisation. Resentment of these governments is channelled by the radicals into a focused hatred of all that is perceived to be Western. These governments have a vested interest in instigating the radicals to rampage; compel Western governments to provide financial/material support.

Observation informs that in such countries there is a very fine line between the intelligence agencies and the radical groups. There is a seamless flow of personnel to and fro on the pretense of infiltration and the acquisition of intelligence. They collude in order to perpetuate a heightened state of anxiety and fear in the local population through innuendo and murder. The impact of this spurious war is felt on the streets of Western countries through the subterfuge activities of obscurantist fringe groups that claim to represent Muslim opinion.

Governments of these countries predicate their legitimacy on the premise of apprehending said radicals and maintaining regional stability. However, these very governments are acutely reticent to introduce the requisite political and economic reforms. They would have Western governments believe that their despotic regimes are indispensable to Western national security interests in the region. It is, in fact, an insidious endeavour at creating an alignment of interests with Western governments; the perception of a common thematic enemy.

Are we going to entrust our security in the West to governments that are extremely unpopular and endemically corrupt? Regimes whose sole ambition is to preserve their grip on power and who are willing to achieve this through patronage and/or coercion. Regimes that do little to improve the welfare of their own peoples and would sell them out at the drop of a dime: How long before they sell us out?

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Afghanistan – Pakistan

The political scene in Pakistan is dominated by parties whose membership comprise primarily of the landed class. The rivalry between these political parties is not ideological but is based on ethnicity. The religious parties operate at the margin and as such they do not command any substantial following. However, through the proliferation of madrassas they have channelled the ignorance of their following into a focused hatred of the West. The true centre of power in Pakistan is its armed forces and the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence. The relationship between all of the state actors has inevitably been characterised by innuendo and confrontation.

Asif Ali Zardari is the current President of Pakistan and co-chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Nawaz Sharif is a former Prime Minister and currently President of Pakistan Muslim League(N). Notwithstanding the scandals that tainted these two individuals, the West relied on them to return Pakistan to democracy. The urgency of the ‘War on Terror’ being fought in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and Taliban took precedence over all else. The problem in Pakistan is that the politicians usurp the wealth of the country and have no commitment to the people. This endemic corruption amongst the ruling classes has done more to undermine political stability than the insurgency in Afghanistan.

When the International Security Assistance Force withdraws from Afghanistan in 2014, it’s likely that a resurgent Taliban will attempt to overthrow the Karzai government in Kabul. A dishonest government, kept in power with US/EU aid won’t be able to withstand the onslaught especially with an Afghan army that is ill-equipped and demoralised. It’ll then fracture along ethnic lines with the Persian speaking Northern Alliance pitted against the Pashtun speaking south; the civil war will have begun in earnest. A proxy war will once again be fought in Afghanistan with Iran/Russia materially supporting the Northern Alliance and Pakistan/Saudi Arabia inevitably supporting the Islamist Taliban.