Saturday, April 11, 2015

About Yemen, Pakistan is Smarter than Washington

Saudi Arabia made a formal request to Pakistan to help them in their intervention in Yemen's civil strife. Pakistan's Parliament voted unanimously not to get involved:
The parliament’s decision came after five days of debate in which lawmakers expressed major concern that Pakistan’s 550,000-man army could become entangled in an unwinnable conflict. . . .

Instead, the resolution approved by Pakistan’s parliament warned that the Yemen crisis “could plunge the region into turmoil” if a negotiated peace and settlement was not reached soon. “This bombing needs to be stopped because, as long as this is happening, the peace process can’t be launched,” Mohsin Khan Leghari, a Pakistani senator, said on the floor of parliament Friday.
Things are bad when the Pakistani government is more sensible than you are.


G. Verloren said...

Pakistan spent $5,685,000,000 on their military in 2011.

The USA spent $689,591,000,000 on theirs military in 2011.

When you only spend 1/121th of what the USA spends on your army, it's not truly being "sensible" in comparison to avoid getting involved.

Unknown said...

I think the politics of the Yemen situation are actually fairly simple. With the US negotiating with Iran on the nuclear issue and backing what the Saudis must see as an Iranian-allied Shi'ite revanche in Iraq, the new Saudi king has to be seen at home to do *something* to act like the leader and defender of Sunni Arabs that Saudis want to see themselves as being. The US likewise has to be seen to back the Saudis in *something*, lest the Saudis, in order to act like they're defending Sunni Arabs, either 1) start building their own nuclear bomb or 2) support ISIS even more than they're already doing.

As for Yemen, I think the mostly plausible scenario is several years of violence followed by going the way of Lebanon (an indefinitely extended more or less unhappy armed truce) or Yugoslavia (separation into more or less ethnically homogenous ministates).