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News Taliban advance deep inside Pakistan, just 70mi from Islamabad; no resistance

  1. Apr 23, 2009 #1
    Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital
    I have absolutely no idea what's going on, so I decided to draw up some charts. Now I still have no idea what's going on, and I also have charts.


    2natzr6.jpg

    wrbadt.jpg


    Derived from CIA maps, provided by the library of the University of Texas-Austin:

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/pakistan.html
    (note the city of Mardan is not marked, I edited it in manually.)

    So - what are the implications of this? Will this further destabilize the politics of Pakistan, and how far? What kinds of military conflict will we see in the immediate future? Where will the US stand? Is there real concern about the status of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2009 #2

    Astronuc

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    It looks like the Taliban are expanding their influence outside of Swat. This is very worrisome, since it will give al Qaida greater operating freedom and potentially bring Sunni and Shia into conflict. It's also very bad for the women in those areas.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2009 #3
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8014167.stm

     
  5. Apr 23, 2009 #4
    Apparently it is ineffective:
    Alarm Grows Over Pakistan’s Failure to Halt Militant Gains
     
  6. May 4, 2009 #5
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/world/asia/04nuke.html?_r=1&hp
     
  7. May 4, 2009 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Leader is dictator - check
    Leader wears comical army uniform - check
    Leader has mustache - check
    Previously supported leader to annoy neighboring country - check
    Country has oil/minerals - nope
    Country is on pipeline route to oil - check
    Useful place to put airbases to annoy bigger enemies - check
    Has weapons of mass destruction - check
    Actually has WMD - check (erm we better think about this)
    Need to distract electorate from f-up at home - check (give it a couple of years)

    I believe the military term is hammer-time.
     
  8. May 4, 2009 #7

    Astronuc

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    Of more concern is the potential for Pakistan to become a more militant state - with nuclear weapons.

    Pakistan’s Islamic Schools Fill Void, but Fuel Militancy
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/world/asia/04schools.html
    It might not be soon, but the Taliban and others are patient and persistent.

    Education of girls as well as boys is important, and it must be an education based on mathematics, science and a broad world view, not on a very narrow doctrine or view.
     
  9. May 4, 2009 #8

    mgb_phys

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    Are we still talking about afghanistan/pakistan?
     
  10. May 4, 2009 #9

    Astronuc

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    This would be a description of Gen (ret) Pervez Musharraf, but not Asif Ali Zardari who is current president of Pakistan, although Zardari has something of a mustache.

    Actually there are mineral and gas deposits in the south - Baluchistan - and parts of the north, but there is little development and infrastructure to support exploitation of those deposits. One problem is the lack of coal with which to make coke with which to refine/smelt the ores into metals.

    The gas reserves are not enough to satisfy internal demand.
     
  11. May 4, 2009 #10

    Astronuc

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    Both actually - same applies.
     
  12. May 4, 2009 #11

    mgb_phys

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    I was thinking of some other states were the teaching of science/maths has fallen off in favour of a narrow doctrine.
     
  13. May 4, 2009 #12

    DavidSnider

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    Anybody ever heard of this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Bashiruddin_Mahmood
    ?

    "In 1967, Mahmood then came back to Pakistan where he then rejoined Pakistan's nuclear program as a chief nuclear engineer at the KANNUP nuclear power plant in Karachi, where he eventually became the Director General of Nuclear Power at PAEC."
    ....
    "Mahmood has published papers concerning djinni, which are described in the Koran as beings made of fire. He has proposed that djinni could be tapped to solve the energy crisis."

    How scary is that!
     
  14. May 4, 2009 #13

    Astronuc

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    It's a global issue. It's a matter of disparity in education and economic opportunity, and of government and societal corruption, and in some cases extremists are exploiting those problems.
     
  15. May 6, 2009 #14

    MATLABdude

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    What may be scarier still is his belief that the end-times might be brought about through the use of nuclear weapons (from that same Wikipedia article). It's as if the eschatlogists got their act together, started pumping out Ph.Ds and started actively trying to bring about the apocalypse / rapture.
     
  16. May 6, 2009 #15
    Just when I think the middle east is starting to make some progress, crap like this happens. I'm starting to think that there is no saving that part of the world and just let them keep killing each other until nothings left.

    I got the same impression. Whats worse, is that most of those PhDs were probably obtained in the US.
     
  17. May 6, 2009 #16

    mheslep

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    Not ME, SE Asia.

    Europe. Delft.
     
  18. May 30, 2009 #17

    LowlyPion

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    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/05/200953010547715690.html

    Looks like they have rolled them back some at least. The question is whether they will be able to suppress them all together.
     
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