Still, totalitarian regimes are out there, in various forms, abusing their own People and also others (like North Korea kidnapping Japanese citizens). They abound. We can deal with them or ignore them.
This short extract from the Night Watch report for the night of 9 May 2011 points out why working with such regimes is of value.
The US relationship with Pakistan has shallow roots for another reason. An entire generation of Pakistani military officers have received no training in US military schools and courses because International Military Education and Training (IMET) was cut off in 1990. Chinese military authorities know more about the next generation of Pakistani military leaders than the US.So, we give the cold shoulder to Pakistan and they turn elsewhere and we miss the opportunity to learn about our nuclear armed "neighbors" in an increasingly shrinking world.
The Night Watch report goes on to make the case for engagement with Pakistan.
Long after the US withdraws soldiers from Afghanistan, Pakistan will be important to the US because it has nuclear weapons that can be used against India and proliferated to Arab states. Secondly, it has close security relations with China that are not congruent with US interests in South Asia and the Middle East.I think this makes some sense. As for the nuclear war possibility, the really scary thing is not millions of people dying. The really scary thing is that at the end of the day the Earth's human population would change about 1% and the world might conclude that nuclear weapons really were OK to use. Remember, in World War Two some 60 million people died, and we didn't give up war after than conflict. At that time the world population was about 2.3 billion and today it is closer to 6.5 billion.
The long term interests seem to outweigh the short term interests in doing more to control terrorists. Terrorists do damage, but nothing remotely comparable, yet, to the inescapable consequences of a potential nuclear war between Pakistan and India. Without exaggeration, millions of people would die in such a nuclear exchange, the first between two less developed nations.
In the unavoidable tradeoffs between US tactical and strategic interests, one way out would be to tolerate Pakistani shortcomings on terrorism while focusing on maintaining the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons; on supporting a secular, elected government in Islamabad; on preventing nuclear war in South Asia, and on limiting the expansion of Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region …with the proviso that whenever the US finds anti-US terrorists in Pakistan, it will kill them without permission, warning or apology. There is no need to turn up the heat on Pakistan; just continue doing what best serves the interests of a great power, going forward.
But, to our foreign policy, President George Washington set the tone described above:
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it?Let's not get all worked up about Pakistan and Osama bin Laden. It is possible they didn't know. It is possible that some small faction inside their Intelligence Apparatus knew and wasn't telling anyone. We have our justice. We should now let it go. There are bigger fish to fry and this will soon recede into memory, but the future stretches before us.
. . .
In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
Regards — Cliff