“F-16s are an ideal counterinsurgency tool,” or Why Pakistan might Fall to the Taliban


In case you want to explain why Pakistan might go down in flames in just one sentence, it is hard to beat, for sheer pithy idiocy, this money quote from a WSJ editorial:

“We also hear the [Pakistani] military is reluctant to take up U.S. offers to fix Pakistan’s idle attack helicopters and focus on the hardware suited for a civil war against a lightly armed enemy. Instead, says a U.S. Defense official, "we always hear things like, ‘F-16s are an ideal counterinsurgency tool.’"”

This line is so hysterically (in a bad way) bone-headed, its hard to know where to even begin in response. I will just direct you to my shortened thoughts on proper counterinsurgency.

I’ve been teaching terrorism and the GWoT for 5 years now, and this ranks up there with Rumsfeldian classics like ‘freedom is untidy.’ When I first read that F-16 line, I have to admit I laughed out loud. Good lord, even my undergrads learn basic asymmetry in the GWoT. Sigh…

Maybe I should add a monthly ‘surreality’ feature to the blog. This could be the May edition, while Stalin simultaneously battling aliens and dancing to techno could be the April entry.

Update: Here is a good piece explaining why the Pakis obsess so much over the F-16s: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=2008ecb3-3d16-4240-86e0-5516f7e0caed&p=1. But it hardly validates the silly notion of F-16s as a COIN tool. The real, obvious answer is that they are a prestigious tool against India.

2 thoughts on ““F-16s are an ideal counterinsurgency tool,” or Why Pakistan might Fall to the Taliban

  1. Pingback: Ahh, the Navel-Gazing Pakistani Military: One More Reason to Be Out the Door of South Asia… « Asian Security & US Foreign Relations Blog

  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Bin Laden’s Death: Can/Should We Wrap the ‘GWoT’? « Asian Security Blog

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