First the article itself, lifted from the Tribune.
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/news ... ewsid=6218
The A Q Khan effect
US succumbing to Pakistanâ€™s nuclear blackmail
by K Subrahmanyam
The fact that the United States continues to be soft on Pakistan even though its leaders are aware that Pakistan is the epicentre of Jehadi terrorism, is a great puzzle for the Indian government and strategic analysts in India.
The mastermind of the 9/11 attack is a Kuwait born Pakistani. The ISI and Omar Sheikh sent $ 100,000 to Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attack. The shoe bomber Richard Reeves and the London train bombers had a Pakistani connection. Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri were permitted to have safe havens in Pakistan and continue to be there.
The US coordinator on counter-terrorism, Henry Crumpton, recently complained about the inadequacy of Pakistani cooperation in hunting down the Taliban and the Al Qaeda. There is evidence of a resurgence of Taliban activity in Afghanistan, mostly with Pakistani help. In spite of all these, General Musharraf continues to be the favourite son of the US administration. He has been able to flout every dictum of President Bush and still is hailed as an ally on the war on terrorism. Why?
For the first time, we are getting a plausible explanation from an American analyst, Tom Donnelly, of the American Enterprise Institute. Donnelly focuses on the US concerns about Pakistani nuclear weapons and nuclear materials. He highlights the role and activities of Dr. A.Q. Khan and his pan-Islamic orientation. He points to the possibility of certain sections of the Pakistani Army and scientific establishment sharing his Pan-Islamic orientation. He draws attention to the US Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR) which has a whole section on the threat to the US from loose nuclear weapons and materials getting out of the control of a nuclear weapon state.
Though no state is specifically named, it is quite obvious that the concern is about Pakistan as the QDR refers to a state friendly to US.
Donnelly outlines a plan that the US would perhaps be adopting to deal with such a situation. The plan has all signs of a military briefing. The first assumption is that though the hijacking of a nuclear device or materials may be carried out by a combination of jehadis, extremist oriented sections of the army and the scientific establishment, the Pakistan government and the Army will be with the US and will cooperate in recovering the materials from the jehadi group. This assumption is absolutely basic to the success of the operation. The implication is the situation will be beyond control if the Pakistani government and Army are non-cooperative.
Donnellyâ€™s plan involves deployment of the US Delta force, rangers, infantry and air force elements. The US may have to act alone. While Indian help may be available that will be red rag to the Pakistani government and Army and therefore should be avoided. This operation is detailed in his article in phases and he does not deal with the post recovery phase.
The Donnelly paper needs to be circulated widely and studied in detail by appropriate authorities in India. The important issue that comes out of this article is the imperative need for the US to keep on the right side of General Musharraf and the Pakistani Army because of the existentialist threat of Pakistani nuclear weapons and materials falling into the hands of the jehadis. Because of this compulsion the US has to overlook all transgressions of General Musharraf and the top army leadership. In that sense, the US is under an existential nuclear blackmail by Pakistan.
This gives Musharraf adequate courage to demand economic and military aid and even access to civil nuclear energy from the US, even though he allows a safe haven to Al Qaeda and Taliban leaderships and reneges on all promises to act against jehadis in his country. This existential blackmail has three components- the large scale presence of Jehadis in Pakistan, a reputation for pan-Islamic orientation among intelligence establishments, scientists and the Army, and proved attempts originating in Pakistan and aimed at the US for using WMD. All the three factors exist. There is no need for General Musharraf or any other Pakistani leader to convey any specific blackmail. The signals are all there and the US can read them.
There is no other explanation that can adequately explain the US tolerance of Pakistani behaviour, which has been far more provocative than that of Iran or North Korea. The US also faces an unfamiliar problem. All its nuclear theology was based on the concept of deterrence, which assumed that the adversary valued certain things such as life, property and future of his nation. But the jehadis value nothing and therefore cannot be deterred. Further, the Pakistani leadership deliberately cultivates an image of irrationality. Recently, in an interview, General Aslam Beg elaborated on the advice he had given to the Iranians. Whoever hits Iran, hit Israel and destroy it. He boasted that his strategy for Pakistan was, no matter who hits his country, he would hit India.
In India there is inadequate understanding of the US predicament. The US is in a kind of hostage situation. We should have noticed that there has been very few detailed analyses about reasons underlying the extraordinary permissiveness of the US about Pakistani behaviour. The charges of A.Q. Khanâ€™s CIA linkages have been ignored. Even the monstrous accusation that 9/11 commission members were dealt with by Pakistani lobbyists and persuaded to water down their conclusions evoked no response from the US media or law makers. Pakistanâ€™s defiant non-cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in respect of Iranian proliferation, in which Islamabad is the primary guilty party has been looked away from. In these circumstances, President Bush displayed rare courage in refusing to succumb to the latest blackmail from Pakistan seeking equal treatment with India on access to civil nuclear energy.
How long the US will put up with Pakistani blackmail? Will the US be able to keep blackmail under manageable levels or will it someday or other breach the limits of US tolerance? Will US succeed in democratising Pakistan under these circumstances or will it have to reconcile itself to successive army regimes flaunting its linkages to jehadis? These are the issues that need to be addressed in Indo-US Track II deliberations.