Should we worry more about Pakistan and less about Iran?
Pakistan is more a failed state and very likely more dangerous to Israel and the West that Iran! They already have sold nuclear technology to terrorist governments under past and possibly future Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
What will happen if the government of Pakistan fails; can a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into chaos?
Pakistans officer corps and ruling elites remain largely moderate and more interested in building a strong, modern state than in exporting terrorism or nuclear weapons to the highest bidder. That was also the case with the Shahs government in Iran until it was too late.
Moreover, Pakistans intelligence services contain enough sympathizers and supporters of the Afghan Taliban, and enough nationalists bent on seizing the disputed province of Kashmir from India, that there are grounds for real worries.
Could Pakistan collapse and could an extreme Islamist movement fill the vacuum; or a loss of federal control over outlying provinces, which splinter along ethnic and tribal lines; or a struggle within the Pakistani military in which the minority sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda try to establish Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
With 160 million people, Pakistan is more than five times the size of Iraq.
The task of stabilizing a collapsed Pakistan is beyond the means of the United States and any willing allies.
There may be internecine warfare within the Pakistani security forces.
Splinter forces of radical Islamists could take control of parts of the country containing crucial nuclear materials.
The great paradox of the post-cold war world is that we are both safer, day to day, and in greater peril than before. There was a time when volatility in places like Pakistan was mostly a humanitarian worry; today it is as much a threat to our basic security as Soviet tanks once were. We must be militarily and diplomatically prepared to keep ourselves safe in such a world. Pakistan may be the next big test.
Norman Podohertz the former Editor of Commentary Magazine
wrote in his new book, "World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism," was published on Sept. 11, 2007.
For other articles on this subject see:
Podhoretz urges bombing Iran as soon as it is logistically possible
The Economist (Early Nov. 2007) tallied up the risks of a potential Shock and Awe II this summer: Iran could fire hundreds of missiles at Israel, attack American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, organize terrorist attacks in the West or choke off tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, the worlds oil windpipe.
Podhoretz claims as have others that by the end of the 21th Europe will become Eurabia, that is dominated by Muslims. Europe will react to the Islamization of its continent. A recent poll by the U.N. documented that over two thirds of the population of Italy, Spain, Britain France and Germany favor restricting immigration (IHT, Oct. 7, 2007, pg. 2). Actually it is not clear that Podohertz believes it himself. In an interview he gave to his daughter Ruthie Blum he stated I find it impossible to believe that the evil forces Islamofascism will prevail over the political good that embodied in Western civilization. (Jerusalem Post, Magazine, June 8, pg. 23).
Jihadism represents a medieval religion. Jihadisms ideology is not an ideology of Living but a culture of Death; that can never overcome an ideology of Life. Only losers back death, the Islamists are losers and cannot win!! There is no Islamofascism ideology that can win a victory over the West. Iran is close to a failed state (Iraq IS a failed state) and not a threat to the U.S. and not likely to Israel.
As Ali Salem, Arabic Playwright and Poet (25 play and 15 books published) has stated "The culture of death is a culture of irresponsibility. This culture may not be ready to die but it surely will whether in a another decade or score of years or another generation or even a jubilee.
Former Secretary and General of the Chief of Staff Colin Powell stated in an interview: What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say its terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. . . We are taking too much counsel of our fears. (GQ Magazine Sept 11)
The War in Iraq and Afghanistan is a skirmish compared to any of the two wars or genocides of WWIII. The chances of the West (both America and Europe) becoming Muslim, the objective of bin Laden, the late Ayatollah Khomeini and President Ahmadinejad approach zero. The War on Terror may continue for a long time, but it is not a World War. It is like the Red Terrorist group that prevailed in Germany and Italy in the 1960s and 1970s.
Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld (Hebrew University) says Israel must and can learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran.
First, construct a national command and control center capable of riding out an Iranian nuclear attack and continuing to function. During the Cold War, every one of the great nuclear powers built such a center. Detailed plans to safeguard the head of state and those closest to him were drawn up and rehearsed.
Israel has reportedly acquired three missile-launching submarines from Germany. Over the next few years it is due to receive another three, which will enable two subs to be on patrol at all times. Israel has reportedly also developed cruise missiles capable of being launched from mobile launchers. Assuming all these forces, along with the necessary command and control apparatus, are properly deployed, then Israels deterrent will be as survivable as it can be made.
Third, continue developing the countrys anti-missile defenses. Currently Israel is the only country in the world whose skies are defended by an operational anti-missile system, the Hetz, or Arrow. Still, now that billions have been sunk into it and it does exist, it should be put to the best possible use.
That use would consist of convincing the leadership in Tehran that if they decide to attack Israel, their missiles may not get through. And if the missiles dont get through, just as if they do, Iran will open itself to awesome and terrible retaliation, as Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir once put it.
And lastly, Israel ought to reexamine its nuclear doctrine. Since Israel has never admitted to possessing nuclear weapons, next to nothing is known about any nuclear doctrine it may have developed. Whether a secret doctrine is a good thing is debatable, but it is certain that it is better than no doctrine at all.
To deter a war, one must be able to fight it. Given the enormous uncertainties involved, preparing for nuclear war is an extraordinarily difficult enterprise that will require the best minds, as well as plenty of money. Chances are, however, that the enterprise will succeed and that a stable balance of terror will develop.
After all, the world has learned to live with a nuclear North Korea. The same applies to a nuclear Pakistan, a nuclear India, a nuclear Israel, a nuclear China, a nuclear France, a nuclear Britain, a nuclear Soviet Union and even a nuclear United States. Add to that another 30-40 states that could go nuclear almost as soon as they make the decision to join the club. The world has learned to live with countries going nuclear, and it will learn to live with a nuclear Iran, too.