Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Loose Cannon Diplomacy: US Style

My published NYT comment #30.
May 05, 2009 3:03 pm


May 5th, 2009 2:39 pm
Loose Cannon Diplomacy: US style

The US is a loose cannon in the South Asia region. It has been that way for over 50 years, particularly in regard to Pakistan, which became a victim of US Cold War geopolitical machinations, beginning with the Dulles-era of the State Department. We are seeing a continuation of that same loose cannon diplomacy from the Obama White House.

It would be a total mistake to conclude that the US has any interest in the South Asia region other than a narrowly defined, ad hoc, frequently shifting strategic interest. Therefore no real attempt to invest in the civil societies of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The latest twist in this story, that David Sanger does not mention in his article, is that Robert Gates is now calling upon Saudi Arabia, that pillar of Democracy, to assist US policy with Pakistan. Isn't Saudi money financing wahabbism in the madrassh and providing weaponry to the factions on the border? Great move, Gates and crew.

Will Pakistan become Obama's Vietnam? Sure looks like it. My sympathy goes out to the civil societies of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are paying the price for egregious missteps in US policy in South Asia. They and the US taxpayer.

Chithra Karunakaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
New York Times copyright
On Washington: Pakistan Overshadows Afghanistan on U.S. Agenda

Important as Afghanistan is to the U.S., the events of the past few weeks have focused American minds on the risks to Pakistan’s stability.