India and Pakistan at the Brink of Nuclear War
Jude Wanniski
May 28, 2002


Memo To: Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Hope You Know Whatís Going On

We all hope and pray that your trip to the subcontinent will serve to cool things down, not heat them up further. The last thing we need is a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, which could of course happen if there is an escalation of tensions leading both sides to think it to their advantage if they nuke first. Iím just afraid that neither you nor Colin Powell, your boss, have an appreciation of U.S. involvement in the subcontinent, which is why I commend to you the long essay written by Michel Chossudovsky, a professor of political economy at the University of Ottawa. Michel is one of the leading intellectuals of the antiwar movement, I think the best of the bunch, as I find he works his tail off in documenting the material he presents Ė and is rigorous in his analysis. Michel sent me his long article last week on the brewing cauldron in Kashmir and I was sufficiently impressed to ask him to write a synopsis, to whet our appetites. His idea is that our foreign policy establishment Ė CIA included Ė has been supporting both sides in this conflict with the aim of having both knuckle under to our imperialist aims. It is not at all far-fetched, when we recall how Uncle Sam and our friends in Israel decided to support both sides in the 1980-88 Iran/Iraq war, hoping they would slaughter each other and prove incapable of threatening any of their neighbors in the future.

Iím not saying I agree with the Chossudovsky thesis on the subcontinent. I tend to be a mite less conspiratorial than he because Iím watching events from the top of the world and he is located in a suburb called Canada. Iím not being patronizing, just geographic. Iíve written all kinds of stuff about the India/Pak conflict over the years, but nothing compared to Michelís contributions. Iím sure you are not interested in contacting him directly for his views, as you have enough views on your plate as it is. But you might want to take a peek at the synopsis, and print out the whole of his essay for reading on your flight to the subcontinent. I assure you that you will know more than you know now.

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Pakistan and India on the Brink of War

by Michel Chossudovsky

The outbreak of a war between India and Pakistan, not only raises the specter of a nuclear holocaust in a region which encompasses almost a quarter of the World's population, it also raises the possibility of a broader war which could potentially engulf a much larger region, with far-reaching implications for the future of humanity.

The December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament --which contributed to pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war-- were conducted by two Pakistan-based rebel groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba ("Army of the Pure") and Jaish-e-Muhammad ("Army of Mohammed").1

Confirmed by the powerful Council of Foreign Relations which plays a behind the scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy, both groups are supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI): "Through its Interservices Intelligence agency (ISI), Pakistan has provided funding, arms, training facilities, and aid in crossing borders to Lashkar and Jaish." What the CFR fails to mention is that the ISI is an instrument of the CIA.

The December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, followed by the terrorist attacks and ethnic riots in Gujarat in early 2002, were the culmination of a process initiated in the 1980s, financed by drug money and abetted by Pakistan's military intelligence. These ISI supported terrorist attacks serve the geopolitical interests of the US. They not only contribute to weakening and fracturing the Indian Union, they also create conditions which favour the outbreak of a regional war between Pakistan and India.

Washington's Ploy: Arming both Sides

While Washington is arming Pakistan, it also has a military cooperation agreement with India. Moreover, behind the scenes --using Pakistan's ISI as a "go-between"-- the CIA is funneling support (money and weapons) to the Kashmiri separatist forces. In a cruel irony, Washington is arming and advising both sides under military and intelligence authorization acts approved by the US Congress.

"Divide and Rule": Advise both sides on the conduct of war. Arm both sides in the conflict, fueling America's military-industrial complex. Develop joint military and intelligence cooperation with both countries, enabling the US to oversee the theatre of an eventual war. Fracture and impoverish both countries. Restore the Empire. The hidden agenda is to eventually extend America's sphere of influence not only in Central Asian but also in the Indian sub-continent.