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.