Frum: Switch to Pakistan

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Neocon intellectual Frum lays out the neoconservative case for switching from Afghanistan to Pakistan. His logic, which he presents persuasively, is what is driving many in Washington to heat up the Pakistan kettle.

What are some of the big flaws in his logic? First, it takes the war on terror for granted as a sound aim. Second, it takes for granted that a nation-state that “harbors” terrorists itself is guilty and is a collectively-terrorist entity itself. The whole nation becomes subject to U.S.-applied force. Third, he assumes that he and others in power know who these terrorists are, how bad they are, what they’re planning, of what they are capable, and which nation-states are harboring them. Fourth, the benefits of forcing these terrorist-harboring nation-states to bend to the U.S. will are worth the costs. It’s ok if the state under pressure or attack by the U.S. devolves into civil war, if its citizens are killed, if their standard of living falls off a cliff, and if refugees and tent cities are generated. It’s ok if terror incidents inside this target country dramatically expand. It’s ok if trillions in American wealth are expended on the effort. It’s ok if America becomes a police state to prevent retaliation. Fifth, he assumes that endless international violence applied at the will of the U.S. is the means to global peace and security.

7:18 am on May 9, 2011