Saturday, December 5, 2009

Problem avoidance

Ex-CIA officer Graham Fuller wrote in the Huffington Post about why the United States should de-escalate in Afghanistan:
India is the primary geopolitical threat to Pakistan, not Afghanistan. Pakistan must therefore always maintain Afghanistan as a friendly state. India furthermore is intent upon gaining a serious foothold in Afghanistan -- in the intelligence, economic and political arenas -- that chills Islamabad.
(Link to his May 10, 2009 article).
This line may be straight out of General Kayani's diary. It accurately describes the perception in the leadership in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, Fuller presents this "geopolitical threat" from India as an objective truth. As Shashi Tharoor said last month in an interview, Pakistan has nothing that India seeks.

Fuller's article is also dishonest because it leaves out an obvious part of the equation: Pakistan's continuing support of Islamist militas as leverage against its neighbors. If, as Fuller suggests, America draws down its military footprint in Afghanistan, then the Taliban will come back with Pakistan's support, either overt or tacit. Afghanistan will return to the pre-9/11 clutches of the Taliban--- a hell-hole for ordinary Afghans, and where the 9/11 attacks were hatched.

The problem with the knee-jerk anti-war movement is that is avoids the truth and seeks to bring us back into our shells. That's no way to engage with the world.

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