Correct strategic decision in scope and time, leads to victory despite tactical reversals. US strategic decision to dominate the vital East-West sea-lanes of communication through Suez Canal has enabled her to dictate terms in the global politco-economic arena. However, to exercise absolute hegemony over this vital oil rich zone it has to harness the states from Libya to Pakistan, that influence this East-West strategic link. Therefore it would be naive to think that US would forego the strategic advantage it has so painstakingly gained over the last few decades, and withdraw from this Region. In the aftermath of WW-II US, through NATO's platform, dubbed Warsaw Pact states as threat to the West. After the Cold War era it branded Islam as the ultimate threat to the Western way of life. The anti Islam slogan works well for US to legitimize her hold of the Region in the garb of so-called war on terror. This is the corner stone of her strategy of gaining and retaining control of states that influence the strategic lines of communication in this Region. In pursuance of this strategic manoeuvre, US initiated all kinds of Machiavellian tactics through a carefully planed new kind of warfare, the Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). It is an indirect war strategy to weaken the target country from within and take control by portraying as the Messiah. Peoples' represented regimes of target states in the Region were replaced by dictators or weak governments through well orchestrated strategy of hoax of WMDs, fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism. The general pattern of this LIC strategy is to control the target nation by infusing internal strife through terrorism thus triggering economic melt down to accentuate civil unrest, breakdown of state institutions and eventually political collapse. Cases in point are erstwhile USSR and creation of Bangladesh. In the wake of US ouster from Iran in late 1970s, Pakistan became a frontline state for US to further its grand strategic designs in the Region. Pakistan, with its borders with Iran, Afghanistan, India, China and Arabian Sea in the South has special geo-strategic significance. It is the bridge for Russia, the main counterweight to US influence in this Region, via the nations ending with "tan", which form part of Russia's natural back yard. Pakistan can also facilitate Chinese economic and strategic interests in the Region which are bound to clash with the American and Indian interests Stakes for China, Japan and other Far-eastern states as well as Europe are high in this Region because of oil and its movement towards the West and East. A strong nuclear weapons capable and independent Pakistan therefore does not suit US interests in the Region. This thinking coincides with India and Israel who would extend all-out support to cut Pakistan to size. It is obvious that our enemies would like to cash this situation. India has been preparing for this window of opportunity since the creation of Bangladesh. Their massive military muscle with offensive operations orientation, duly backed by a strong economy, support of US and others who cannot digest a nuclear weapons capable Pakistan, is not for "national day parades" While Indians have been targeting Pakistan since her creation, they are now fishing for a plausible reason, actual or engineered, and a green light from US to test Pakistan's military might. Our defence and security policy must therefore be focused and based on realistic threat perception. Pakistan is in an advance state of LIC which compels the planners to revisit the national defence and security strategy to rescue Pakistan from the quagmire she is in. Successive military regimes and weak civil governments have to share the blame. But Musharraf takes the cake. It was his slavish pursuance of American policies that have brought Pakistan to the brink of disaster. For him saving his skin due to his Kargil misadventure was more important than Pakistan. Pakistan is now at the cross roads to chose between the option of a sovereign state or an American colony accepting Indian hegemony, in line with Musharraf's policies. This course of least resistance is easy but leads to chains of slavery (Pakistan's present situation). All it needs is an apologetic attitude towards the bullies, which we have been doing since 9/11. In this option there is no bottom line; demands will keep increasing till we lose our sovereign status. No self-respecting nation would accept this disgrace. The other and obvious option is that of a brave self respecting nation. Yes it is a difficult option and would demand sacrifice especially in the prevailing scenario, but it will lead to glory and a secure future for the Nation. With military threat looming on our Eastern borders, worsening internal security situation and breakdown of government writ on our Western borders as well as in NWFP and Balochistan, the nation has no choice but to take some hard decisions. We have to be pro-active. In this realm I suggest the following guidelines, which are, however, based on one important and all encompassing prerequisite: that Pakistan is a nuclear weapons capable state i.e. we have second strike capability, have delivery means to reach the depth of our enemies (I need not elaborate enemies), an effective monitoring mechanism, national will, and most important the Government's resolve to use the nuclear weapons if required. The Government's policy of "no first strike" must therefore be replaced by our tested policy of "ambivalence". If Pakistan is a nuclear weapons state in light of the above-mentioned criteria, then we should rehash our defence and security policy in consultation with all the stakeholders, political parties and defence forces. Main contours of the suggested defence and security doctrine are: Prepare the Nation for the impending unavoidable two frontal war with India in the East and US lead coalition in the West. In this context we must enroll, equip and train area specific second line force from among the local population, to protect our rear areas and logistic lines. In the 1965 war the Hurr Force in Sindh was a force multiplier and their contribution went a long way in defeating Indian aggression in Khokrapar-Monabao sector. An aggressive diplomatic initiative to further strengthen economic and strategic ties with China, Russia, European Union and important Regional players. Redefine our policy against US war on terror. This would require Pakistan specific initiatives in NWFP and Balochistan in coordination with the locals. We must never forget the tribal forces commitment and sacrifices for Pakistan in the past including the Kashmir war of 1948, and their recent patriotic resolve to fight alongside our Army in case of Indian aggression. Hand over defence of Western borders to 7 million strong tribal force duly backed by Frontier Corps. Necessary logistics should be ensured to this formidable force with proven potential for a protracted war. Cases in point are defeat of erstwhile USSR in Afghanistan with limited foreign support and the on going war with NATO/US military. Shift the focus of our Armed Forces towards Eastern borders and adopt India specific defensive posture as in the past. However, our advantage of operating on interior lines must be improved. Build up essential logistics reserves at the National and Armed Forces level for a protracted two frontal war. By no means, I am advocating the warpath at the nuclear or even conventional level. War should always be the last option. However, to deter or avert war, one has to be prepared for it. Pakistan with 160 million patriotic people, Nuclear weapons capability, well-trained professional armed forces, diehard tribal population in NWFP and Balochistan and with plenty to eat, is not a nation which can be subdued. What the Nation needs today is focused and sincere leadership. We must emulate US leadership style at the strategic level and place Pakistan's national interest above all other considerations. Pakistan Zindabad. The writer is ex-Brigadier and Former Military Secretary to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. E-mail: brigjaved@gmail.com