Was this the riot act that the US read to Musharraf?

A strong message. But was the follow-through strong enough

William Kaminsky paraphrases George Friedman’s account of the US ultimatum to Musharraf soon after 9/11.

You will either let the US [1] fully inspect all of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities (covertly, of course), [2] establish a permanent monitoring regime of them (also covertly, of course), as well as [3] personally purge all militant-Islamist-sympathasizers from the ranks of those parts of your scientific/military/intelligence establishment responsible for the nuclear program (we’ll leave the level of discreetness and brutality up to you on this one, Pervez) or you will find the US shall stand aside as India goes to war with Pakistan*, Pakistan inevitably loses the conventional war, and events then in all probability escalate into a nuclear exchange. By the way, if we stand aside and somehow peace and reason prevails and India doesn’t start a war with you, please note that the US has never renounced the option of conducting a first strike with nuclear weapons. [Too Many Worlds]

It may take another thirty years before what really transpired becomes public, but facts on the ground reveal that the American ultimatum did not entirely have the desired effect. Pakistan was using US supplied C-130s to carry out ‘missile for fissile’ barter transactions with North Korea in 2002 and selling weapons technology to Libya as late as 2003. Purists may quibble about how Khan’s proliferation is a shade different from Pakistan’s operational nukes (which is what Friedman is talking about); but that means the US was guarding the door while keeping those huge french windows unlocked.

6 thoughts on “Was this the riot act that the US read to Musharraf?”

  1. Troubling. Deeply troubling.
    Even more than Pak, the real source of Nuke proliferation is China and I really dont see anybody being able to do anything about it.
    Anyway, I’m happy that GWB did well (which is great, for him) in the debate and is on the comeback path. Maybe in huis second term he’ll take on this Pakistan problem afresh. But he has a lot on his plate already – Iran and NK notwithstanding.

  2. Chanakya,

    The Acorn is agnostic to who is actually elected as the US President; hopefully the Americans elect the guy who is good for America.

    As far as its impact on India, I think the Indian government should do more to control the outcomes of the US-Indian relationship.

  3. Of course, I support GWB’s re-election. I don’t agree with all that W did but in the matter of core philosophy and principle, I’m 1 with the GOP – individual rights over the collective to the max extent feasible, reduce the scope of govt to the max extent possible from interfering in citizens’ lives, talk tough on terror and be tough enough to walk that talk even if it proves unpopular, Milton Friedman’s Chicago school of economics over that of Karl Marx and the latter day socialists, NEVER get as crabenly dhimmi as the Eu has become etc I could go on but I believe people here at the Acorn are intelligent enough to figure out the rest for themselves. . What about you, Chanakya?

  4. Sudhir,

    I agree in principle with most of the GOP economic principles, while being somewhere between ambivalent and opposed to their social conservatism. However, in this election, I feel that GWB is just not a choice – not just for America, but for the rest of the world.

    The “leader of the free world” title might be a tad exaggerated, but an incompetent US president definitely has the potential of ruining it for the rest of the world – GWB has proven this.

    I was one of those who believed that something good and different would come out of 9/11 – and for a while I was optimistic – rather naively in hindsight. I thought that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would finally be exposed for what they were. Instead, they seem strengthened.

    For me, any “support” for the Pakistan government and hence the terrorism it directly supports – whether it be out of compulsion or tactical expedience is a moral failure of the U.S., and eventually the buck stops with the President.

    Now – I am perfectly willing to admit that the Democrats might have done the same thing, had they been in the White House – but then I would be criticising them now.

    Anybody but Bush, I guess.

    -chanakya

  5. I was one of those who believed that something good and different would come out of 9/11 – and for a while I was optimistic – rather naively in hindsight. I thought that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would finally be exposed for what they were. Instead, they seem strengthened.

    For me, any “support” for the Pakistan government and hence the terrorism it directly supports – whether it be out of compulsion or tactical expedience is a moral failure of the U.S., and eventually the buck stops with the President.

    Chanakya, that is exactly how I feel.

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