- Military News Analysis -
Boston,with inputs from correspondents at Tel Aviv, Paris and Singapore:
An Ideal Scenario about the Progress and End of the Current War
An ideal scenario about the progress and end of the current war would involve a quick capture or elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the unseating of the Taliban and their replacement with a regime that is sensible that integrates Afghanistan into the world economy and polity. Along with this peace descends on all parts of the planet with religious extremism gradually fading out and a liberal outlook getting into place. And the world finally doing away with national borders so as to have a unified humankind that sets about the real destiny of humankind to understand the universe we live in and to extend human control over it as a perpetual human venture.
Assumptions behind the above Ideal Scenario
This is based on a lot of fallacies about the possible future scenario. These fallacies are:
Assumption No. 1: Pakistan would remain stable and under firm control of a liberal pro-Western regime that would keep its nuclear arsenal of 30 warheads in safe hands.
Assumption No. 2: We would see a quick capture or elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the unseating of the Taliban and their replacement with of a liberal pro-Western regime in Afghanistan.
Assumption No. 3: The leadership of the Arab world would remain in the hands of pro-western regimes lie those of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, King Abdallah in Jordan, Bashar Assad in Syria.
Assumption No. 4: The Muslim masses across the globe, would ignore the calls for Jihad that are reverberating from all Masjids (Mosques) across the globe and not create any unruly and dangerous situation in different parts of the globe.
A Realistic but far from Ideal Scenario about the Progress and End of the Current War
But if even one of these assumptions gives away, the entire ideal house of cards that is built upon them would come tumbling down, plunging the world into a totally different scenario. The first assumption that could give away would be the Assumption No. 1, i.e. "Pakistan remaining stable and under firm control of a liberal pro-Western regime that would keep its nuclear arsenal of 30 warheads in safe hands".
Assumption 1 is belied and General Pervez Musharraf is overthrown and Pakistan comes under a Jihadi regime that would use its nuclear arsenal of 30 warheads on the dictates of Osama Bin Laden.
In one word "Hell will break Loose". Being more articulate on this possible doomsday scenario, the Pakistani nuclear arsenal would be spirited away to secret locations in the Muslim world that are already de-stablized so as to evade it being tracked down easily. The possible destinations may be the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, Pakistani Occupied Kashmir, Chechnya, Abkazhia, Dagestan, the Fergana Valley in Central Asia, the islands in the Indonesian Archipelago or any other such god forsaken place where it would be near impossible to track down the nuclear arsenal. From here this payload may be detonated in unconventional methods by suicide bombers.
Even if the current Pakistani regime is not unseated but it is de-stablized by volatile civil unrest of the type we saw yesterday in the burning of the UNICEF office and some Police Stations, the scenario could gradually (over a matter of weeks or months) deteriorate towards the one described above. In both cases the end result would be of so dissipating a dangerous resources lie nuclear capability into hands similar to those which flew the civilian airliners in the Twin Towers. A scenario, to give ulcers to every sensible citizen of the globe.
Assumption 2 is belied and Osama Bin Laden, eludes the bombs and the Special Forces and escapes out of Afghanistan
This is also a plausible scenario. Osama has been claiming that he has many places to seek refuge, from where he can keep operating. These places have been named by him include Kashmir, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and other places. This scenario ties up with the Assumption Nos. 3 and 4. We assume that there is no groundswell of sympathy for Osama in the Arab and the extended Muslim world. We are told about the silent majority of Muslims and Arabs who are not with Osama. We would like to believe this. But whether in a minority, the fanatics in the Arab/Muslim world do get an upper hand; then what? Yesterday we saw violent demonstrations in Gaza, Qatar, Srinagar, Quetta, Jakarta and other cities in the Muslim world.
So far the mobs have limited themselves to burning effigies of President Bush, what if they start lynching Whites (Journalists, TV crews) etc who due to the nature of their jobs of giving news coverage of these very events have to be in proximity of these crowds. It is a matter of time, when these crowds will turn against these most visible living representative of the West that the Arabs and Muslims hate so much. So far the mobs have burnt Police Stations and UN offices, but again it is anybody's guess when they start torching Western Missions and MNC offices. The situation then could turn dirty.
With the US having said that in Phase 2 of the War, more organisation and more countries could be the target of attacks, could prove the proverbial spark, i.e. if the disturbances do not overtake the Muslim/Arab world till then.
A possible political outcome of these possibilities would lead to increasing civil disturbances in the Arab/Muslim world that would de-stablize the moderate Muslim/Arab regimes. The centerpiece of all this could prove to be the homeland of Laden and the birthplace of Islam - the Arabian Peninsula. The scenario of the Saudi monarchy being destablized or overthrown would only be the second in its implications to the spiriting away of nuclear arsenal from Pakistan. The downfall of the House of Saud would start a domino effect for the pro-West regimes in Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and other Arab states. This effect could spill over to the populous Muslim nations like Indonesia, Malaysia with the overspill reaching the Western world in the form of fidayeen attacks.
Possible Scenario if Assumption No. 1 is belied - Pakistani Nuclear Arsenal is grabbed and spirited away by a Jihadi regime in Pakistan
The scenario is too frightening even to contemplate. The carnage that the death seeking Jihadis could cause in the USA and Europe, with nuclear weapons is beyond imagination. With September 11, the Jihadis have proved that they have no value of human life, including their own and they can be expected to have no mercy on anyone. With nuclear weapons in their hands it would be nemesis for the human species.
Solution: Spiriting away Pakistan's nuclear arsenal NOW, alongwith its creators like Dr. Abdul Qadir and company to the USA or Europe
This can be pre-empted by the Western nations spiriting away this nuclear arsenal now, as long as Pervez Musharraf is in power. If the Western nations wait till General Musharraf is replaced by a Jihadi regime, then the only possibility would be to attack Pakistani nuclear facilities at Kahuta, and Muzaffarabad before they are spirited away by Osama's surrogates. This would be a frightening scenario as the success of preventing the arsenal from falling into wrong hands would be uncertain. The time is to act NOW and pre-empt that from happening, by spiriting away Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, along with its creators like Dr. Abdul Qadir and company. Pervez Musharraf should also be prevailed upon to share with the West, if any of this arsenal or technology has been proliferated with other Muslim or Arab countries. If this has been done, as we suspect it has been; then all such countries should be de-nuclearized. The last thing we want is to fight the Jihadis spread across the globe and armed with nuclear weapons. And the time to prevent this scenario is by counteracting them NOW.
Possible Scenario if Assumption Nos. 2,3&4 are belied and Osama Bin Laden, eludes the bombs and the Special Forces and escapes out of Afghanistan causing the moderate Arab/Muslim regimes to fall
With the passing away of the moderate Arab regimes the critical resource of petroleum oil will fall into Osama's hands. Thus along with Assumption 1 being belied leading to nuclear capability falling into his hands; and now with oil and the existing narcotics from Afghanistan, it would give him an edge that would be very difficult if not impossible to defeat.
Solution: Flaring and destroying the oil wells, if and when they fall into the hands of the Jihadis
The unfortunate but unavoidable solution then would be to bomb out the oil wells and to carpet bomb the poppy fields that supply narcotics to the opium trade that provide the financial muscle to the Jihad today. This last offensive will have to be undertaken in today's existing scenario in Afghanistan. This is anyway being done today and hence does not call for elaboration here. But the destruction of oil wells, if and when they fall into inimical hands would be a decision that would become necessary in the course of the war. Since oil cannot, like nuclear weapons be spirited away now; to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Jihads, there is no alternative but to undertake the flaring and destroying the oil wells; and either relocating or destroying of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, if and when these resources fall into the hands of the Jihadis.
We hope that minds that matter in the USA and the West are also thinking and acting upon similar lines. We hope that they are doing this in the larger interests of the human species to save this beautiful planet that is our home.
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