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A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the point around which peace and stability hinge in South Asia: Pakistan. The threat of the Taliban and Al Queda using Afghanistan as a refuge and launching points for attacks against the United States is governed primarily by what happens in Pakistan.

Holbrooke is known for his directness, and this quote from the Wall Street Journal article sums things up nicely "If Afghanistan had the best government on earth, a drug-free culture and no corruption it would still be unstable if the situation in Pakistan remained as today. That is an undisputable fact, and that is the core of the dilemma that the Western nations, the NATO alliance, face today."

Indeed.

Money, information, equipment - all these flow through Pakistan to Afghanistan. Without a secure Pakistan, Afghanistan cannot achieve peace and stability, no matter how many or how few troops NATO decides to deploy.

Pakistan faces many challenges related to security and stability, and the  pledge by President Obama to increase aid to Pakistan is a good start. Another hopeful sign was the averting of destructive political conflict between President Zardari and Nawaz Sharif recently. Thankfully, Holbrooke is an experienced diplomatic operator who understands Pakistan's difficult situation. He fully understands Pakistan's "red-line" view of U.S. troops operating on Pakistani soil. Strikes by unmanned drones are hard enough to swallow, but boots-on-the-ground might spark a conflict that could not easily be contained.

Cross posted at MyDD

Originally posted to southasiawatch on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:30 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I care a lot about Pakistan (0+ / 0-)

    and this region as evidenced by this diary and a few others I've written on the topic.

    Your work monitoring the region may be diligent & useful. However, it is not coming across with your posts here.

    Perhaps instead of posting similar diaries every couple days you can post comments in the open threads. Also, people here like to see a comment (or two) in the diary by the author lest you get pigeonholed as a "hit & run diarist."

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

    by LaughingPlanet on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:48:24 AM PDT

  •  this conclusion has been reached (0+ / 0-)

    for at least a month now, more, by many, if not most, think tanks, mainstream media people who know the region, other non media 'experts' who know the region not to mention the administration.

    Pesident obama has made these facts or interpretation a major part of any policy speech on Afghanistan or question raised in press oonferences, especially overseas during the recent G20 summit. The Supreme Commander of NATO Forces in Afghanistan has made the same pount, so has General Petraeus military head bossman of the region.

    I'm happy the WSJ (Rupert Murdoch's paper) has finally got around to reporting on the same page.  I wonder if the memo has reached Foix news yet?  or those who insist we pull out now and abandon the region exactly the way we did after the Russians puuled oput several decades ago.

  •  Please (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, allenjo, Joe Johnson

    go read William Blum's Killing Hope, the two or three chapters on Afghanistan and Pakistan.  It was the Americans who lured the Russians into Afghanistan (bragged about by Z. Brzinsky in his book) and we are the ones who left the Afghan fighters we trained high and dry when they were no further use to US global hegemony.  At that time we did not care that they were religious radicals tossing acid in women's faces.  Not that we care now eiter, but we have decided that those we funded and trained and exploited for our purposes are now our enemies.  They are not fine people, but . . .

    Bring our troops home now and stop fighting the wars Bush lied us into.  Get a spine Democrats.  I knew you would be too cowardly to stop the wars Bush started.

    ...do the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

    by Silverbird on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:07:48 PM PDT

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