When the armed-and-dangerous (and well funded, and well connected) in Washington cook up their insane (and murderous) ideas for global victory, you can count on NPR to spice up the crock o'crap and serve it up as a perfectly tasty and rational proposal. All that's needed is a quick trip to the pantry of well-funded/connected (and dangerous) think tanks that are soooo... fond of the projection of US power. This morning was a case in point with experienced tank chef Jackie Northam chattering on about a splendid recipe for drone-bombing the Baluchistan province of Pakistan.
The range of opinions Northam puts in the pot is telling:
- NPR regular Anthony Cordesman (winner of the "Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal") of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
- Daniel Markey of the Council on Foreign Relations(CFR)
- U.S. Army Gen. Dan McNeill (former NATO commander in Afghanistan who by retirement should be ripe for think-tank or con$ultant harvesting!)
- Seth Jones of the Pentagon-lovin' RAND Corporation.
In fairness, I have to give Markey a nod. Despite his claim that there appears to be at least passive support for Baluchi Taliban within Pakistan's military, he points out that US bombing in Baluchistan would "cross a red line" and "fuel further unrest" (unrest!!?). Beside that tepid dissent, the rest of the piece features Northam cooking up the apocalyptic alarmism that Juan Cole and other analysts (hee-hee) have derided:
- "Cordesman and other analysts say the Taliban operates openly in Baluchistan...."
- "Removing the leadership in Quetta could severely disrupt Taliban operations in Afghanistan. Some analysts say if the Pakistanis won't do it, the U.S. should take action."