RETHINKING THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF PAKISTAN: The Price of Strategic Myopia

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RETHINKING THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF PAKISTAN: The Price of Strategic Myopia, Ahmad Faruqui, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Aldershot, England, 2003, 190 pages, $79.95.

Ahmad Faruqui, a gifted economist who has done great work on electrical and utility issues, is from Pakistan's educated elite, but he now works in California. He has never served in or with the military, but he writes regularly on military issues.

In Rethinking the National Security of Pakistan: The Price of Strategic Myopia, Faruqui argues that Pakistan is spending itself into ruin with its military. He believes Pakistan's hope for the future is to lay off 50 percent of its military forces and quit buying equipment abroad. Indeed, Pakistan is in rough economic and political shape and needs to do something. Knowing this, does Faruqui have the answer? Should you pay 42 cents a page to find out?

The book has some problems. First, it is a poorly blended compilation of previously published works that lacks coherence and organization. Second, the book was published in 2003 but was obviously written before 9/11. Faruqui made a few quick changes to try to bring the book up to date, but he did not do a comprehensive scrub and rewrite. A lot has changed in the region since 2001, particularly the military posture; the book has not. As you read, the Taliban is in power, then out of power, then in power again. …