What is America to Do About Pakistan?
The meat of the answer:
" The only thing we know for sure about Pakistan is that there will be no such happy ending. President Pervez Musharraf was a good bet in 2001 when, under extreme pressure from the Bush administration, he flipped and joined our war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But like Marcos and Pinochet, he has now become near-terminally unpopular, illegitimate and destructive to his own country. Is it time to revisit the 1980s and help push him over the edge?
That depends on whether we think Benazir Bhutto is Corazon Aquino, and whether Bhutto and her allies can successfully take power, which means keeping both the army and the country intact. Heightening the risk of dumping Musharraf is that external conditions today are not like the relatively benign conditions of the 1980s. The Taliban and their allies are gaining in strength, and waiting to pick up the pieces from the civil war developing between the two most Westernized, most modernizing elements of Pakistani society -- the army, one of the few functioning institutions of the state, and the elite of civil society, including lawyers, jurists, journalists and students."