Thursday, August 19, 2010

Isn't it grand what we are doing for Pakistan?

There is a fair bit of preening going on about what the USN-USMC team is doing to help the victims of the Pakistani flooding. That is nice and all - but before everyone gets so excited they flop on the floor and foam - I think we need to think clearly and openly about what is actually going on.

Perhaps we should also think about the opportunity cost. To see in detail what I think, head on over to USNIBlog and read my post there.

29 comments:

MaryR said...

My Marine friend, who is there calls it: <span>Humanitarian relief in Pakistan: Helping those that hate you.</span>

Redeye80 said...

Six weeks?  Why can't the AF use thier C-17 for some drops?  It would look good on CNN.

We are dammed if we do and dammed if we don't.  My guess is this will be viewed as too little too late.  BTW, where is the rest of the world?

Navy Suppo said...

Couldn't agree more...just throwing good money after bad away.  There isn't a thing that we can do that will make them hate us any less.  The best statement we could make is to ignore the entire event.

ewok40k said...

Well, one article I saw lately asks: what is geoplitical, military, and economical value of Pakistan (175 million nation with sizeable economy, large army and friggin nukes!) compared to AFG. And how much is the US spending on the both countries. Ponder.
Pakistani army, reluctantly and with spotty record but started going after local Taleban. In my book this is worth at least 100 helos to help them moving about, and some old A-10s to help them with airpower. Both wont change much the balance vis a vis India, but will be tremendous help to the soldiers on the ground.
Every bit of US help is strengthening pro-US factions in the military and intelligence and weakening pro-Taleban ones.
I might say US help isnt watering desert with gallons, but rather along the lines of the following joke:
Lord to the butler: Glass of water, fast!
Butler! Yes, M'lord!
Lord to the butler: Glass of water, fast!
Butler! Yes, M'lord!
Lord to the butler: Glass of water, fast!
Butler! Yes, M'lord! But maybe I bring a jug?
Lord: No time for a discussion, my servant, the library is on fire...

Byron said...

And all of them will look upon us with contempt. Need a hard cold bastard in the Oval Office who will tell the likes of Pakistan, "You're with us, or you're against us, and there isn't any middle ground. If your against us, get ready to start digging your grave".

Byron said...

Oh, and in other news, we're still spending money to give the USS McInerny to the Pakistani Navy....

BostonMaggie said...

The Goddess of the Naval Blogging Strike Force does not "preen".  What we are doing there *IS* important.  Pakistan's stability is in our best interest.  Period.

AW1 Tim said...

Where is the rest of the world? Bust laughing at us and using the money they saved by NOT providing relif efforts to pay off their political enablers or provide jobs for their own citizens.

cdrsalamander said...

Never said it wasn't important.  Repairing children born with cleft pallets is also important.  Fully funding fistula hospitals in central and east Africa is also important.

The question is: is this what the military is for - and what are we not doing in order to do this?

Strip away the emotion and do a cold analysis of the history of such action.

Read the post over at USNIBlog in full.

Salty Gator said...

Maggie:  the Navy is sinking.  Global stability, not just Pakistan's, is dependent on us having command of the seas.  We will not continue to exercise this command if we spend all of our capital doing feel good "hearts and minds" missions that have zero return on investment.  China can afford to do hearts and minds operations just like us right now, but they're not.  Why?  Because they have decided that minds recognize DF-21 over USNS Mercy, and hearts don't want to bleed all over a battlefield by making the wrong choice when it comes to who to align with.

sid said...

When the USS Nassau was deployed off Galveston after Hurrican Ike, the vast majority of the 4.5 million folks in the greater Houston Galveston metro area never had a clue it was ever there...

I can't imagine this effort in Pakistan is making much more than a barely preceptable dent in the tragedy.

Curtis said...

never do an enemy a small injury.

Eric Palmer said...

Gee, maybe if we do this, they will like us. 

If this was a serious effort, it would be a non-stop effort. Instead what we get are a few boats.

Money wasted on this is money that could be used for other operations. 

Redeye80 said...

That guy left because of term limits.  Remember we have who we have because of the will of the people.  When we get our next Pearl Harbor / 9-11, maybe just maybe we will wake up.

How's that hopey, changey thing going?

ShawnP said...

Always nice to feed a future terroist.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

They at least have to be as big as a Baker Target.  That way you can hit 'em in the 500 prone. 

Jeff Gauch said...

Byron, did you forget about the 100,000 troops we have in AF?  You know the guys whose supplies have to come in through Iran, a Russian protectorate, or Pakistan.  Our military is in no shape to perform Anabasis II.

Like it or not they've got us by the short and curlies and they know it.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Maggie,

You are right this is an important mission, since it to show the world what we can do beyond putting warheads on foreheads. However, the questions that should be ask is why are places like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, etc can't seem to bring their economies up to be able to offset a natural disaster like this. Is it cause their governments aren't government but just accepted gangsters in charge? Is it cause the people can't seem to rise about living tribalism? Is it cause the anti-modernization folks (such as the Al Qaeda and Talibans) are saying to modernize will rob your soul? We should be asking these tough love questions.

Think about it like this, your child is grown up but had started to go down a path of drugs, rock&roll, and prostitution. You and Mr. Boston Maggie do all that you can to keep them from going there? At what point would you offer the tough love where you kick them out and change your locks so that your child knows this is done. Even though it would break your heart in cause the cost of hearing the lies of they will change just becomes too much?

Guest said...

I understand we are trying to set the example and help those in need around the world.  But I wonder how much money other Muslim/Arab countries have promised.  My guess is $0.

Lou Stoolz said...

This is a crucial mission for the US. We need Pakistan. Who else will supply us with obnoxious cab drivers and convenience store managers?

Salty Gator said...

Pirate, why do we care if our military can do more than kill people and break things?  Isn't that the mission of the state department and or USAID and or non-governmental organizations that enjoy tax free status?

Salty Gator said...

Stupid comments like this piss me off as much as "jersey shore parties" where everyone pretends to be a "Greaseball Italian." 

Get a life.  My favorite local pizza parlor is owned and staffed by a bunch of Pakistanis.  And I'm of half Italian heritage.

Go flush yourself, stoolz.

Southern Air Pirate said...

I am not talking about the military in general but the USA on a whole. There are people around the world that view the USA as knuckle dragging, retarded cowboys, who kill things first, and the flog those dead horses to get things done. Meanwhile you are right it is USAID and DoS and NGO's to try and flex the soft power muscles, but would you rather have some group Blackwater (who attract CNN injuries/kills like a pile of poo attracts flies) providing escorts to these soft power, or a platoon of Marines riding shotgun with either deuce and halfs or H-53's dropping off bags of MRE's, Grains, and water? 
Remember that for about a decade the US Marines were the government in Nicuragua and Haiti in the '20's. Making sure that our soft power was there being formed (along with providing combat experience to men who would lead the Corps in WW2). I also remember that it was three years ago they were talking about forceable entry to provide that soft power to the folks in Mynamar/Burma since the government there were A55hats, it was only the fear of our soft power message would have been lost in door kicking that lead to the DoS to get off thier thumbs and do something other then just navel gaze

ewok40k said...

Such ad hoc missions are good and all, but we need a plan for creating more stable, more democratic and safer PAK. Think Marshall Plan 1947+. Starting with removing tariffs on Pakistani cotton and textilia, getting as much PAK officers trained in the US, and helping the army crush Taleban. Try to act as middleman in reducing IND-PAK tension. And do it patiently for 10-20 years regardless of administration changes. Am I wishing too much?

Salty Gator said...

yes.

Salty Gator said...

Pirate, I do know those facts about Haiti, nicaragua, and Phillipines.  In fact, the reason the Corps held court down in those hell holes was because they would go out and find the bad guys, quarter them, and hang their dismembered body parts outside their hooches (or bury them in pig blood in the case of the Phillipines).  the Marines were most certainly NOT exercising soft power.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Yes, however if you read up on what they did there as well you will see they exercised soft power. For every mission they did in the RPI, Nicuragua, Haiti that was hunting down the bad guys; they also did things such as build roads to some of the distant villages, taught the locals how to preform law enforcement, made sure that food stuffs were delievered on time and where given to everyone not just the local strong men's friends.

In the end though in all of those places, our soft power was exercised, our hard power was exercised, and it didn't seem to make a hill of beans. Those three countries have just barely kept themselves from decending into anarchy. So much potentional and it has been almost constantly squandered.

Salty Gator said...

well said

sid said...

Never mind Pakistan....

Don't be surprised if there is a "surprise" storm that rakes the east coast in the next few days.

When you see high altitude icing PIREPs like these over Florida and off both coasts as well..Something is up:

PIREP 16:02Z 08/24/10
   CTY UA /OV 50S CTY/TM 1602/FL270/TP B737/TA -25/IC MOD RIME BTN FL270-FL285/RM ZJX CWSU
  
   PIREP 16:30Z 08/24/10
   CTY UA /OV 30SE CTY/TM 1630/FL190/TP A320/IC LGT RIME BTN FL190-FL240/RM ZJX CWSU 
   
     
   PIREP 15:02Z 08/24/10
   ORL UA /OV 22W ORL/TM 1502/FL230/TP C500/IC LGT TO MOD RIME/RM ZJX CWSU
  
   PIREP 14:43Z 08/24/10
   ORL UA /OV ORL/TM 1443/FL230/TP C550/TA M15/IC LGT RIME/RM CWSU ZMA
  
   PIREP 17:28Z 08/24/10
   OMN UA /OV OMN175030/TM 1728/FL280/TP MD88/IC MOD RIME/RM CWSU ZMA
  
   PIREP 16:35Z 08/24/10
   PBI UA /OV PBI100028/TM 1635/FL220/TP CE20/TA M08/IC MOD RIME/RM CWSU ZMA
  
   PIREP 15:34Z 08/24/10
   VRB UA /OV VRB220025/TM 1534/FL210/TP A320/TA M12/IC LGT RIME/RM CWSU ZMA
  
   PIREP 16:05Z 08/24/10
   RSW UA /OV LBV170020 /TM 1605 /FL240 /TP CL60 /TA M19 /IC LGT RIME /RM /FL 240-260

just sayin'.....