The part of the world into which we decided to stick our noses operates on a pretty simple principle: Money talks, tribalism rocks. Since we don’t belong to any of their tribes, the best thing we can do is wave a gallery of our own “tribal leaders,” lovingly engraved on our currency, under their noses.
The difference between a tribe and an “investment in loyalty” is that when you mess with a member of somebody else’s tribe, it can start a vendetta that lasts for generations. With the latter, the fealty only endures as long as money keeps coming, so the idea is to collect as much of it as you can before the benefactors throw up their hands, declare victory and eventually pull out, as they always do.
While Pakistan’s leaders have a certain respect for Americans such as Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, Grover Cleveland and Salmon P. Chase (who?), particularly when they arrive in multiples, the love doesn’t run very deep. And when Pakistani soldiers with families and loved ones get rubbed out by the same folks who have been sending over the shipping containers full of “investments,” the rank and file start asking uncomfortable questions. Since the power structure is none too stable over there, it’s going to take some fancy diplomacy plus a lot more grease get things back to their previous dysfunctional status.
In other words, Hillary is going to have her hands full, in more ways than one.