Many conservatives, even those generally supportive of democracy promotion, have been supporting Pervez Musharraf on the “better the devil you know” theory (articulated in this article by Arthur Herman.). That is a reasonable theory, but it hasn’t worked out in this case: Musharraf simply hasn’t delivered the goods. Far from waging the kind of all-out battle against Islamic extremists that he has repeatedly promised Washington, he has instead repeatedly compromised and allowed the jihadists to get stronger, not weaker.
Three excellent op-eds in recent days—by foreign policy scholar Robert Kagan, former CIA agent Arthur Keller, and former Pakistani official Husain Haqqani—are must reads on the subject. Collectively they demolish the case for Musharraf and show why a return to democracy is in America’s interest.