Why Obama did not inform Pakistan

The daring attack by the navy seals on the Laden compound will perhaps go down as one of the most talked about military strikes. Its another matter that the SEALS hardly faced any resistance. But some questions are bound to be asked over the prudence of not informing the Pakistan leadership. Here’s my take.

  1. Obama had suffered many recent setback in domestic politics. Like any other person in his shoes, he would have loved to change the tide.
  2. The Americans are, at one level, convinced that the level of terrorism that exist in Pakistan cannot exist unless there is complicit understanding to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
  3. If the SEAL operation had failed, or had resulted in high casualty it would have sounded a death knell for Obama’s Presidency for the 2012 elections.
  4. Under these circumstances, the following were the objectives of the Raid:
    1. It must not fail.
    2. Osama must be caught/ killed
  5. How does the US make sure the operation does not fail ?
    1. Do not inform Pakistan, at present there is no way of knowing who is a friend and who is a foe.
    2. After the Battle at Tora-Bora, this was the first time the American had any cogent intelligence as to where Bin Laden is. Is sharing the same with a doubtful friend worth it ?
    3. If the Americans had informed the Pakistanis, and tried to arrest him the same way they arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Libi, would the Pakistani Co-operate. After all, he is the biggest fish. There are 1001 excuses to let the man slip.
    4. Suppose the Americans decided to engage the Pakistanis and it did not work out, and there were indeed moles in the Pakistani Camp, who would have informed Bin Laden, he could have escaped from there. Was this worth the risk? With elections next year?

If you look at the logic and remember the phrase “its business, nothing personal” the decision not to inform Pakistan would make a lot of sense. Pakistan after all has today become adept at denying it supports/ had supported terror organizations in the past. While the U.S. may side with Pakistan as against India, but when it came to dealing with a similar situation, at least the American political leadership showed more spunk than any Indian Political leader has shown till now.

Another observation, the decision not to release the Osama Pictures is perhaps one of the best political decisions. The reasons are two.

One, the photographs if released can become as iconic a photo as is the photograph of Che Guevera on T shirts. And

Two, the domestic opponents of Obama would make hue and cry about this issue, and Obama by releasing the pics at the time of elections can easily give a double whammy to the republicans!


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