khan wrote:Not only that, these Einstein’s are scoring a self goal again. While President Trump might want out of Afghanistan, there are people like Bolton that want to stay in. Attack’s like these will make it harder for the US to declare victory & leave which is the preferred way of leaving.
Possibly. I'm still in two minds about Paki intentions w.r.t. Unkil leaving or not leaving Afghanistan.
If US leaves, a LOT of cash flow that used to ultimately benefit TSPA/ISI jernail-contractors in Pakistan (trucking, catering, construction, labour, what-have-you) will dry up. Also Pakistan will effectively become a 400% backwater and there will never, ever be any appetite in Washington to save them from a beating by India (as happened so often during say Parakram or post-26/11). So there are reasons why Pakistan would want the US not to leave.
OTOH if the US leaves, Pakistan can hope to fill the vacuum in Afghanistan again, reclaim strategic depth, and turn the place into a Taliban-managed jihadi factory for use against India. BUT I am uncertain if, for example, China would want this. Afghanistan is a little too close to East Turkestan/Xinjiang for their comfort.
Re: Pak-China relations, I think Xi's "OBOR" dreams have sort of faded, at least with respect to Gwadar becoming a seaport outlet for raw materials mined in a joint Beijing/Islamabad-controlled Afghanistan and trucked out over the grand highways of CPEC. The total dysfunction of the Paki economy and civil administration, the inability to ever recover loans given to broke-azz Slumbad, plus the costs of unrest in Balochistan, were giving the Chinese pause over whether CPEC had ever been that good an investment. Now we've added to their doubts very considerably with Operation Balakot and what it implies for CPEC's security
I think the Pakis right now are busily trying to hand over the reins to a third father, Saudi Arabia. That's what the business of MBS saying "Pakistan will be the Eastern Chowkidar of a New Middle East" was all about. But tauba tauba, the Saudis also sat on their hands while the SDREs went about slaying hundreds of jihadis in Balakot. Adding insult to injury they invited Sushma Swaraj to make some kafir speech at the OIC while this was happening.
So where to go now?
I think there is only one way for the Pakis to go. Kamikaze, towards India. All those BRF-ites feeling let down that everything has de-escalated, listen carefully to what Modi said about "pilot project". All this was the trailer, the movie is yet to come. My feeling is it will be released very soon. 155 mm arty exchanges and missile fire on the LOC/IB is no joke. And the fifth-column front (except in the media/soft-power sense) has not been fully activated in the Indian hinterland yet. Everything is on the cards, including (I am sure) attempts on our PM's life.
Also, the ONLY avenue of revenge Pakis have for Balakot is to do another atrocity of 26/11 magnitude... nothing else will slake the thirsts of the Tanzeems, and such an action is the only thing that could threaten Modi's re-election (by demonstrating that his policy of Balakoting the Pakis does not suppress their terroristic impulses).
There will be no de-escalation beyond the very very short term. Things will escalate again. At first sub-conventionally. And we will respond, conventionally. This will happen soon. My prediction.