Friday, December 09, 2011

Do they mean business?

On the surface, it looks like Pakistan is serious in its anger about the NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26th. Not only has it cut off critical supply routes used by NATO forces, it is also strengthening its air defenses on the Afghan border.

After reading this article, concerns about this development are somewhat calmed. Although these weapons could be used to prevent NATO planes from attacking the enemy’s stronghold in Pakistan, there are parts of the article which indicates that they are for other purposes. A Pakistani Brigadier General noted that “If there is another attack, they [Pakistani soldiers] should have something to defend themselves.” More likely, this move is for domestic purposes. By providing these means for defensive use, leadership of the Pakistani military can appease Pakistani troops’ and citizens’ concern that soldiers will be helpless if a repeat of the event were to occur.

NATO forces should be wary of this development, but also take it in the context mentioned above as well.

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