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Пакистан


Теоретик

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В связи с уходом Мушшарафа нельзя не поднять тему будущего Пакистана.

Цитата
Удастся ли удержать в ножнах "исламский ядерный меч"?
Василий Воропаев
Сразу после ухода Первеза Мушаррафа с поста президента Пакистана в правящей коалиции начались разногласия. Сможет ли тот, кто придет ему на смену, обеспечить безопасность "исламской атомной бомбы"?

Пакистан - единственное мусульманское государство, обладающее ядерным оружием. Атомный арсенал страны контролирует армия, бывшая надежной опорой экс-президента Первеза Мушаррафа. Не стал ли его уход стратегическим поражением военных? И как они будут взаимодействовать с новой властью?

Правивший железной рукой Мушарраф смог сделать главное - сохранить безопасность атомного оружия в раздираемой политическими и этническими противоречиями стране. Пакистан находится рядом с Афганистаном - одним из основных фронтов объявленной США и их союзниками "войны с террором". Более того, исламисты активно действуют в приграничных районах на севере Пакистана, а их влияние распространяется гораздо дальше.

"Неопределенность" - это слово чаще всего звучит в рассуждениях о ближайшем будущем страны. Провозглашенная восторженными противниками Мушаррафа "новая эра" началась с горячих дискуссий между участниками правящей коалиции о том, кто теперь займет место президента. Похоже, что единственным связующим звеном этого союза была и остается нелюбовь к Мушаррафу.

Пакистан находится в экономическом спаде, а его население растет - уже сейчас в стране живет больше людей, чем в России. Бедность - питательная среда для всех видов экстремизма.

Клубок политических и этнических противоречий в Пакистане закручен так туго, что трудно сказать - кто на самом деле стоит за той или иной партией, кто будет контролировать власть в стране в будущем. А значит, есть опасения, что "ядерная кнопка" может рано или поздно оказаться в руках политика, который не удержится от искушения пустить в ход "карающий меч".

Будущему президенту Пакистана, кто бы им ни стал, придется справляться с трудностями сразу на нескольких направлениях, развивая экономику и обеспечивая безопасность. И только успех "на всех фронтах" станет гарантией того, что "ядерный чемоданчик" - в надежных руках.



Известия


Грубо говоря, эта тема должна интересовать не только Россию, но и США. Для последних Пакистан - "мостик" в Среднюю Азию, ибо там, в условиях слабой центральной власти и неподконтрольных ей племен можно спокойно создавать лагеря боевиков: как "духов" (против России), так и "Джондаллы" (против Ирана). Прикрываясь племенными отношениями (многоконфессиональность и отсюда децентрализованная, в пользу старейшин, структура власти типична для всех восточных стран), центральная власть снимает с себя ответственность за то, что тееритория страны превращается в одну большую базу для подготовки боевиков, устраивающих в странах региона "заваруху", чтобы затем, якобы для ее решенич, были приглашены американские "миротворцы". - Это на случай, если сама власть не продастся Соединенным Штатам. Мушаррафовский Пакистан жил за счет "геополитического попрошайничества", которое уже порядком "достало" его народ. Как бы там ни было, но либеральная оппозация в лице Беназир Бхутто была убита. Сможет ли ее кто-либо заменить или нам ждать новой исламской революции?

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Challenges After Musharraf
August 18, 2008
Author: Jayshree Bajoria




Outgoing President Pervez Musharraf as he leaves the Presidential House on Aug. 18, 2008. (AP/Emilio Morenatti)
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, under pressure to step down or face impeachment, announced his resignation (Dawn) on August 18. Pakistan's two ruling coalition parties had threatened to impeach him on charges that included violating the constitution, damaging the economy, and unlawfully dismissing senior judges. The country's army chief until last November, Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup and retained office through two controversial votes. His alliance with the Bush administration in its global "war on terror" and his crackdown on the judiciary and media had made him increasingly unpopular in Pakistan.

Experts say Musharraf's exit has left a power vacuum in the political corridors of Islamabad. Musharraf, as army chief and president, was arguably the most powerful leader in the country, but now it is unclear how much control the civilian government wields. Its rule so far has been marked by spiraling food and fuel prices (PDF), rising militant violence, and deteriorating relations with neighbors. Critics say the government has done little but argue about Musharraf's fate and the deposed judges' reinstatement.

Musharraf's resignation also signals the end of an important era in Pakistan's alliance with the United States. After much criticism of its support for Musharraf throughout his period of tumult last year, by August Washington appeared to be distancing itself from him. The White House called his impeachment an internal matter and when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked if the United States would offer Musharraf asylum, she said the issue was "not on the table."

Irfan Husain, a columnist for Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, says the biggest challenge for the United States today is "who to talk to in Pakistan." Husain says there are many centers of power "[a]nd it's very difficult to find someone who can speak for the whole country." Experts worry the army and the intelligence services continue to play an important role in the country's counterterrorism and foreign policies. Bruce Riedel, an expert on South Asia at the Brookings Institution, says the civilian leadership has "virtually no control" (PDF) over the army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, however, speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting in July, insisted the ISI "will do only what I want them to do."

This assertion could come back to haunt the new government amid fresh accusations against the ISI. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has accused the ISI of harboring links to the militants operating in Pakistan's tribal areas and also suspects the ISI of aiding the July 7 bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul. The ISI's alleged complicity in the Kabul embassy bombing has also put India-Pakistan relations on edge. Rising tensions across the Line of Control (Bloomberg) in Kashmir prompted India's foreign secretary to say that peace talks between the nuclear-armed neighbors had reached their lowest point (Dawn) in the last four years.

U.S., NATO and Afghan officials have repeatedly blamed terrorist safe havens in Pakistan's tribal areas for increased attacks across the border into Afghanistan. Increased casualties in Afghanistan have prompted both U.S. presidential nominees, Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ), to call for a troop surge in Afghanistan. But Morton Abramowitz, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, contends that sending more troops won't save Afghanistan when "the main problem is Pakistan" (Newsweek).

According to news reports, some in the Bush administration, frustrated with Pakistan's performance on counterterrorism, would prefer more flexibility for U.S. soldiers to pursue militants (AP) into Pakistan. But experts caution against an overly military approach to terrorism. In a new Council Special Report, South Asia expert Daniel Markey lays out a more comprehensive U.S. approach that aims to foster political and economic reform and increase the capacity of the Pakistani government.


Weigh in on this issue by emailing CFR.org.
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Какая же интересная штука жизнь!
Цитата

http://www.vz.ru/society/2008/9/22/210428.html

Пакистан обстрелял вертолеты США
Пакистанские подразделения открыли огонь по двум вертолетам американских ВВС
22 сентября 2008, 11:40
http://img.vz.ru/upimg/m21/m210428.jpg
Фото: Reuters
Текст: Мария Иванова



В воскресенье были обстреляны вертолеты ВВС США, вошедшие в пакистанское воздушное пространство на северо-западе страны. По некоторым данным, винтокрылые машины от огня, который велся с земли, не пострадали. Однако обстрел не должен был стать неожиданностью для американских ВВС: еще неделю назад Исламабад предупреждал, что будет открывать огонь на поражение по войскам США, которые вторгаются на территорию Пакистана под предлогом борьбы с терроризмом.

Обстрелянные пакистанскими ПВО вертолеты принимали участие в операции американских сил против близких к талибам вооруженных групп в пакистанской провинции Северный Вазиристан, сообщает ИТАР-ТАСС со ссылкой на сообщение SkyNews.



«Местные военные обещали открывать огонь на поражение по американцам» Скорее всего, вертолеты от огня, который велся с земли, не пострадали.


Однако официальные лица той и другой стороны пока не подтверждают информацию об обстреле.


Уточним, что о подобном развитии событий Пакистан предупреждал вооруженные силы США еще неделю назад. Местные военные обещали открывать огонь на поражение по американцам, которые регулярно вторгаются на их территорию под предлогом борьбы с террористами из движения «Талибан».



Официальное мнение Исламабада передал представитель сухопутных войск исламской республики Ахтар Аббас. Он сообщил, что итогам вторжения американских коммандос в провинцию Южный Вазиристан 3 сентября все его подразделения получили приказ предотвращать любой подобный рейд. И если будет установлено, что военные пересекли плохо обозначенную границу и проникли на территорию Пакистана по земле или с воздуха, войска должны «открыть огонь».


«Мы не потерпим никакого вторжения, - приводит его слова CNN. - Приказ ясен. В случае если такое произойдет снова - открывать огонь».


По некоторым данным, два обстрелянных вертолета – не первые машины американских ВВС, попавшие под огонь пакистанцев.


Исламабад утверждает, что в ночь с 14 на 15 сентября семь вертолетов ВВС США пытались проникнуть на территорию Пакистана из Афганистана. Дабы не пустить американцев на свою территорию, военным пришлось произвести предупредительные выстрелы. Правда, Пентагон опроверг эти сообщения, заявив, что информация об инциденте в Пакистане была тщательно проверена и не подтвердилась, уточняет Reuters.



Напомним, в последнее время боевики действительно активизировали свою деятельность в Пакистане. Последний крупный теракт, жертвами которого стали более 60 человек, в том числе, посол Чехии, произошел в минувшую субботу.


Взрыв прогремел возле пятизвездочного отеля Marriott, в котором обычно останавливаются иностранцы. Очевидцы утверждают, что грузовик, начиненный взрывчаткой, врезался в железные вороты отеля, затем произошла сильнейшая детонация.


Теракт произошел всего через несколько часов после того, как новый президент страны Асиф Али Зардари выступил на сессии парламента с обращением, в котором пообещал «искоренить терроризм».


В сочувственной речи президент США Джордж Буш осудил теракт и пообещал оказать Пакистану «полную поддержку в борьбе с терроризмом».


Текст: Мария Иванова


И после этого кто-то поверит, что "Аль-Каида" - независимый от США игрок, теракты которого не направлены на усиление американского военного присутствия в Middle East?
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Пентагон, как мог, мягко объявил войну дружественному Исламабаду и, как я говорил, решил усилить свое военное присутствие.
Цитата

http://www.vz.ru/news/2008/9/23/211158.html

Глава Пентагона нашел новый источник опасности для США
23 сентября 2008, 19:33



Наиболее серьезная террористическая угроза в адрес США в настоящее время исходит из зоны племен западного Пакистана, заявил на слушаниях в комитете по делам вооруженных сил сената Конгресса США, посвященных ситуации в Ираке и Афганистане, шеф Пентагона Роберт Гейтс.

Его высказывания прямо противоречат утверждениям других руководителей вашингтонской администрации о том, что «центральным фронтом» в международной борьбе с терроризмом является Ирак, сообщает ИТАР-ТАСС.


«Если вы меня спросите сегодня, после успеха, которого мы добились в борьбе против «Аль-Каиды» в Ираке, откуда исходит самая серьезная угроза родине, то я отвечу, что из западного Пакистана», - сказал руководитель американского военного ведомства.


Специалисты в США уже неоднократно публично выражали обеспокоенность по поводу перегруппировки сил, которую экстремистам удалось провести в приграничных районах Афганистана и Пакистана, пользуясь тем, что власти в Исламабаде были недостаточно активны в борьбе с терроризмом.


Представители Пентагона, включая Гейтса и главу Комитета начальников штабов вооруженных сил США адмирала Майкла Маллена неоднократно предлагали Исламабаду задействовать американский спецназ на пакистанской территории в зоне племен, однако эти инициативы неизменно наталкивались на отказ.
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Пакистан выходит из-под контроля США
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И помогает Ирану прорвать экономическую блокаду
Пакистан все более отдаляется от США. Президент Асиф Али Зардари, считавшийся проамериканским политиком, после прихода к власти проявляет полную независимость от мнения Вашингтона и активизирует усилия по защите национальных интересов страны. Пакистанские военные обстреливают американскую технику, пытающуюся вторгнуться с территории сопредельного Афганистана, а сам Зардари заключает соглашение с Махмудом Ахмадинежадом о строительстве газопровода, призванного связать Пакистан с Ираном.

Американское командование в Афганистане сообщило сегодня о перестрелке с пакистанскими военными, имевшей место на афгано-пакистанской границе. Первыми огонь открыли пакистанские военные, обстреляв два разведывательных вертолета OH-58, сопровождавших колонну американских войск. Колонна открыла ответный огонь. Впрочем, в результате перестрелки, продолжавшейся около 5 минут, никто не пострадал.

По данным пакистанской стороны, вертолеты залетели на их территорию, тогда как американцы уверяют, что инцидент произошел в границах Афганистана. Как бы то ни было, вооруженное противостояние некогда ближайших союзников по «антитеррористической коалиции» на афгано-пакистанской границе приобретает все более острые формы. «Там границы как таковой фактически нет. Поэтому все события можно как угодно интерпретировать. А стрелять там будут и дальше – и еще с жертвами», – пообещал РБК daily президент Института Ближнего Востока Евгений Сатановский.

Похоже, что новый президент Пакистана решительно настроен защищать суверенитет страны и пресекать все попытки американцев «бороться с терроризмом» на пакистанской территории. Выступая в Нью-Йорке на Генассамблее ООН, Асиф Али Зардари предостерег США от попыток силового вмешательства. «Нарушение нашего национального суверенитета не будет способствовать уменьшению опасности от террористов. Напротив, это может иметь даже обратный эффект», – заявил Зардари.

Между тем серьезный прогресс был отмечен в ходе переговоров по проекту строительства газопровода из Ирана в Пакистан, резко против которого выступали США. В ходе встречи в Нью-Йорке президент Ирана Махмуд Ахмадинежад и президент Пакистана Асиф Али Зардари достигли соглашения о создании совместной компании для прокладки газопровода от месторождения «Южный Парс» до пакистанского города Мултан. Президенты договорились о встрече глав МИД двух стран в начале октября с целью согласования деталей. Кроме того, будет создан комитет с участием пяти высокопоставленных лиц обеих стран для завершения проекта трубопровода.

Стоимость проекта оценивается в 7,5 млрд долларов, длина «трубы» – более 2 тысяч километров. В качестве возможного соинвестора будет привлечен Оман, который также заинтересован в поставках газа из Ирана. Консультации экспертов Ирана, Пакистана и Омана должны начаться на следующей неделе в Тегеране.

Тем временем Индия сигнализирует о том, что она также заинтересована в этом проекте и готова к нему присоединиться – с целью продления трубопровода до своей территории. Секретарь Министерства по делам нефти Индии сообщил накануне о том, что переговоры успешно продвигаются и чиновники трех стран в скором времени проведут встречу для урегулирования имеющихся спорных моментов – прежде всего цены на газ. Благоприятным фоном для этих консультаций стала встреча в Нью-Йорке между лидерами Индии и Пакистана, состоявшаяся в четверг поздно вечером. По ее итогам Манмохан Сингх и Асиф Али Зардари договорились «содействовать скорейшей и полной нормализации отношений» между двумя странами на основе «взаимного уважения, мирного сосуществования и невмешательства». В совместном заявлении говорится о стремлении двух стран развивать взаимное торговое и экономическое сотрудничество и активизировать транспортные связи, что указывает на скорый прогресс в переговорах по трубопроводу Иран – Индия – Пакистан.

Растущая экономика и население Индии и Пакистана нуждаются в иранском газе, однако проект строительства трубопровода, связывающего три страны, долгое время откладывался из-за противодействия США, категорически не желающих допустить активизации внешнеэкономических связей ненавистного им «тегеранского режима». Но похоже, что после событий в Грузии и кризиса на американском финансовом рынке страны третьего мира все меньше готовы прислушиваться к требованиям «старшего брата». План американцев по установлению в Пакистане подконтрольного им политического режима с треском провалился. Добившись отставки Мушаррафа, США надеялись, что им на смену придет более лояльный и покладистый Зардари, который будет действовать в полном соответствии с указаниями из Вашингтона. Однако они жестоко ошиблись. Новый президент продолжил линию Мушаррафа по защите национальных интересов страны, причем в ряде вопросов стал действовать еще более решительно.

«Пакистан никогда не был тем, за что его принимало американское руководство. Он всегда был страной, которая весьма умело использовала американские деньги и военную помощь – при этом исключительно в собственных интересах. Это говорит о том, что в Госдепартаменте просто недопонимали, с кем они имеют дело», – считает президент Института Ближнего Востока Евгений Сатановский. По его мнению, действующий президент просто использовал американскую помощь для собственного прихода к власти «Ни о какой демократии здесь речь не идет – это человек, которого называли «мистер 10%». Убрав Мушаррафа, американцы не получили демократического прозападного президента – они потеряли контроль над ситуацией», – убежден эксперт.

Военная операция американцев на сопредельной пакистанской территории, населенной пуштунами, заставляет пакистанских военных выбирать между суверенитетом их страны и интересами союзников – и естественно, они выбирают интересы Пакистана. А в данном случае пакистанская армия является очень серьезным противником.

По мнению г-на Сатановского, дальнейшее развитие событий приведет либо к серьезным столкновениям, либо же вынудит американцев изменить свою концепцию. Однако в последнем случае американской операции в Афганистане гарантирован провал. «Победить в Афганистане, не проводя операции на пакистанской территории, невозможно. Это было известно еще в советские времена», – резюмирует президент Института Ближнего Востока.




Павел Захаров, 26.09.2008
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не знаете, кто это специалистов по Среднему Востоку в Инете ищет?
"Требуются специалисты по Среднему Востоку
Для разработки доклада по перспективам развития Афганистана и Среднего Востока приглашаются к участию проектные аналитики, способные инициировать и разрабатывать стратегические проекты и программы, а также специалисты и эксперты в области геоэкономики, геополитики, геостратегии и геокультуры. Требуется талант и уверенность в собственных силах. Возраст, опыт и бэкграунд не имеют абсолютного значения. Резюме и предложения присылать с темой "Средний Восток" по адресу: scheilih@gmail.com"
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США вступают в войну
Чтобы вернуть влияние в Азии
Американцы продолжают бомбить территорию Пакистана. В результате последнего ракетного удара по провинции Северный Вазиристан погибли четыре человека, девять получили ранения. Ставшие уже регулярными американские атаки на пакистанские территории проходят на фоне активизировавшихся слухов о том, что движение «Талибан» в Афганистане ведет переговоры с официальным Кабулом и планирует установить контакты с Эр-Риядом. Похоже, что возросшая активность США в Пакистане связана в том числе с опасениями Белого дома по поводу того, что он рискует в скором времени окончательно потерять монопольный контроль над ситуацией в соседнем Афганистане. Кроме того, в последнее время наметился серьезный разлад между новыми властями в Исламабаде и Вашингтоном. Дестабилизация Пакистана и установление контроля над этой страной позволит Соединенным Штатам восстановить стремительно падающее влияние во всей Средней и Южной Азии.

Нынешний удар авиации США, нанесенный по пакистанским территориям в ночь на среду, – уже седьмой за последний месяц. Он стал ответом американцев на обстрел пуштунами из провинции Северный Вазиристан трех беспилотников. По последним данным, в результате американского авианалета убиты шестеро и ранены около десяти человек.

Участившиеся авиаудары по Пакистану очевидно связаны с тем, что Штаты боятся постепенно потерять контроль над центральными частями Азии. Убийство в конце прошлого года лидера пакистанской оппозиции Беназир Бхутто, а также вынужденный уход со своего поста экс-президента страны Первеза Мушаррафа в августе и активные контакты Исламабада с Пекином и Тегераном превратили Пакистан в слишком опасного в своей непредсказуемости и неуправляемости партнера для США.

Новый президент страны Асиф Али Зардари, в котором наблюдатели видели ставленника Вашингтона, теперь все больше отдаляется от Белого дома. Он угрожает Штатам ответить на их попытки нарушить «национальный суверенитет» и заключает экономически выгодное соглашение с главным врагом Америки – иранским лидером Махмудом Ахмадинежадом о строительстве газопровода, который свяжет Иран и Пакистан.

Одновременно США сдают позиции и в соседнем с Пакистаном Афганистане. Недовольство официального Кабула постоянным ростом числа жертв среди мирного населения подталкивает правительство Хамида Карзая искать альтернативные Штатам опорные силы. Несколько дней назад Карзай заявил, что готов вести переговоры с движением «Талибан» при посредничестве Саудовской Аравии. По имеющейся информации, официальный Кабул уже ведет секретные переговоры с талибами. А Эр-Рияд, как сообщила на днях саудовская газета «Аль-Ватан», также готов принять участие в этих переговорах при создании «соответствующих условий».

Очевидно, что те процессы, которые сегодня происходят в Афганистане и Пакистане «за спиной» у США, не устраивают Белый дом. В этих условиях Вашингтон, скорее всего, будет пытаться активнее расшатывать ситуацию в Пакистане, вплоть до установления там своего контроля, как это было в свое время в Афганистане. Понятно, что очередная военная кампания ляжет тяжелым грузом на крайне нестабильную американскую экономику. Однако, поставив под свой контроль Исламабад, американцы смогут угрожать соседнему Ирану, контролировать огромный регион постсоветской Средней Азии, а также Южной Азии и окончательно выдавить китайцев из строящегося порта Гвадар. А это сулит немалые экономические и политические дивиденды для Белого дома.


ИРИНА ЦАРЕГОРОДЦЕВА

01.10.2008
http://www.rbcdaily.ru/

Не об этом я говорил в самом начале?
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Monday, October 20th, 2008

Pakistan on the Verge of Bankruptcy, Presses Allies for Support
By Jason Simpkins
Associate Editor

Pakistan said Friday that it would seek $4 billion in financial assistance, mostly from the World Bank, the Financial Times reported. Pakistan, a nuclear power and neighbor to Afghanistan, is on the verge of bankruptcy and if it does not receive the assistance it requires, the economy could collapse resulting in political upheaval and social unrest.

Pakistan has been wracked by inflation, currently running at 25% and its foreign reserves are dwindling. The nation’s currency, the rupee, last week sank to a new low of 84.4 to the dollar and has tumbled more than 33% against the greenback this year. Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves have shrunk to about $4.5 billion, or just six weeks worth of imports, the FT reported.

Unchecked political spending and poorly designed tax codes have also contributed to the nation’s economic shortfall. Less than 1% of Pakistan’s population of 164 million pays income taxes.

At least $2 billion is required immediately if the country has any chance of restoring confidence in the economy, with up to $8 billion needed to repay sovereign debts due to mature over the next year, the government says.


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Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari began a four-day state visit to China on Tuesday, hoping to drum up at least a portion of the required capital. A senior Pakistani official said China promised to help avoid defaulting on foreign debt and offered an initial soft loan of up to $500 million the FT reported.

"As a long friend of Pakistan, China understands it is facing some financial difficulties. We’re ready to support and help Pakistan within our capability," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. However, Qin offered no specifics on the form of Beijing’s financial help.

China is already a leading source of investment for Pakistan. Bilateral trade between the two countries topped $7 billion last year. China has sold conventional weapons and missile technology, and is suspected of helping Pakistan develop nuclear weapons. In 2006, China and Pakistan signed a pledge to increase bilateral trade to $15 billion a year by 2011.

Zardari also plans to appeal to the United States, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, as well as other “Friends of Pakistan,” for support. Since 2001, the United States has provided Pakistan with more than $10 billion in aid, mostly to aid the “War on Terror” taking place on the country’s western front.

Representatives from Pakistan’s allies will meet next month in Dubai to discuss possible solutions to save the country from bankruptcy.

“Bankruptcy, should it happen, could unleash a massive tidal wave of social unrest," Stratfor, a U.S.-based intelligence risk assessment agency said in a report released Friday. "Exactly what the jihadists on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border would like to see to advance their goals."
Money Morning
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From Great Game to Grand Bargain
Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid
From Foreign Affairs , November/December 2008



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities
BARNETT R. RUBIN is Director of Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University and the author of The Fragmentation of Afghanistan and Blood on the Doorstep. AHMED RASHID is a Pakistani journalist and writer, a Fellow at the Paci?c Council on International Policy, and the author of Jihad, Taliban, and, most recently, Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.


Listen to this essay on CFR.org

The Great Game is no fun anymore. The term "Great Game" was used by nineteenth-century British imperialists to describe the British-Russian struggle for position on the chessboard of Afghanistan and Central Asia -- a contest with a few players, mostly limited to intelligence forays and short wars fought on horseback with rifles, and with those living on the chessboard largely bystanders or victims. More than a century later, the game continues. But now, the number of players has exploded, those living on the chessboard have become involved, and the intensity of the violence and the threats it produces affect the entire globe. The Great Game can no longer be treated as a sporting event for distant spectators. It is time to agree on some new rules.

Seven years after the U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan commanders it supported pushed the leaderships of the Taliban and al Qaeda out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan, an insurgency that includes these and other groups is gaining ground on both the Afghan and the Pakistani sides of the border. Four years after Afghanistan's first-ever presidential election, the increasingly besieged government of Hamid Karzai is losing credibility at home and abroad. Al Qaeda has established a new safe haven in the tribal agencies of Pakistan, where it is defended by a new organization, the Taliban Movement of Pakistan. The government of Pakistan, beset by one political crisis after another and split between a traditionally autonomous military and assertive but fractious elected leaders, has been unable to retain control of its own territory and population. Its intelligence agency stands accused of supporting terrorism in Afghanistan, which in many ways has replaced Kashmir as the main arena of the still-unresolved struggle between Pakistan and India.

For years, critics of U.S. and NATO strategies have been warning that the region was headed in this direction. Many of the policies such critics have long proposed are now being widely embraced. The Bush administration and both presidential campaigns are proposing to send more troops to Afghanistan and to undertake other policies to sustain the military gains made there. These include accelerating training of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police; disbursing more money, more effectively for reconstruction and development and to support better governance; increasing pressure on and cooperation with Pakistan, and launching cross-border attacks without Pakistani agreement to eliminate cross-border safe havens for insurgents and to uproot al Qaeda; supporting democracy in Pakistan and bringing its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under civilian political control; and implementing more effective policies to curb Afghanistan's drug industry, which produces opiates equal in export value to half of the rest of the Afghan economy.

Cross-border attacks into Pakistan may produce an "October surprise" or provide material for apologists hoping to salvage George W. Bush's legacy, but they will not provide security. Advancing reconstruction, development, good governance, and counternarcotics efforts and building effective police and justice systems in Afghanistan will require many years of relative peace and security. Neither neglecting these tasks, as the Bush administration did initially, nor rushing them on a timetable determined by political objectives, can succeed. Afghanistan requires far larger and more effective security forces, international or national, but support for U.S. and NATO deployments is plummeting in troop-contributing countries, in the wider region, and in Afghanistan itself. Afghanistan, the poorest country in the world but for a handful in Africa and with the weakest government in the world (except Somalia, which has no government), will never be able to sustain national security forces sufficient to confront current -- let alone escalating -- threats, yet permanent foreign subsidies for Afghanistan's security forces cannot be guaranteed and will have destabilizing consequences. Moreover, measures aimed at Afghanistan will not address the deteriorating situation in Pakistan or the escalation of international conflicts connected to the Afghan-Pakistani war. More aid to Pakistan -- military or civilian -- will not diminish the perception among Pakistan's national security elite that the country is surrounded by enemies determined to dismember it, especially as cross-border raids into areas long claimed by Afghanistan intensify that perception. Until that sense of siege is gone, it will be difficult to strengthen civilian institutions in Pakistan.

U.S. diplomacy has been paralyzed by the rhetoric of "the war on terror" -- a struggle against "evil," in which other actors are "with us or with the terrorists." Such rhetoric thwarts sound strategic thinking by assimilating opponents into a homogenous "terrorist" enemy. Only a political and diplomatic initiative that distinguishes political opponents of the United States -- including violent ones -- from global terrorists such as al Qaeda can reduce the threat faced by the Afghan and Pakistani states and secure the rest of the international community from the international terrorist groups based there. Such an initiative would have two elements. It would seek a political solution with as much of the Afghan and Pakistani insurgencies as possible, offering political inclusion, the integration of Pakistan's indirectly ruled Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into the mainstream political and administrative institutions of Pakistan, and an end to hostile action by international troops in return for cooperation against al Qaeda. And it would include a major diplomatic and development initiative addressing the vast array of regional and global issues that have become intertwined with the crisis -- and that serve to stimulate, intensify, and prolong conflict in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Afghanistan has been at war for three decades -- a period longer than the one that started with World War I and ended with the Normandy landings on D-day in World War II -- and now that war is spreading to Pakistan and beyond. This war and the attendant terrorism could well continue and spread, even to other continents -- as on 9/11 -- or lead to the collapse of a nuclear-armed state. The regional crisis is of that magnitude, and yet so far there is no international framework to address it other than the underresourced and poorly coordinated operations in Afghanistan and some attacks in the FATA. The next U.S. administration should launch an effort, initially based on a contact group authorized by the UN Security Council, to put an end to the increasingly destructive dynamics of the Great Game in the region. The game has become too deadly and has attracted too many players; it now resembles less a chess match than the Afghan game of buzkashi, with Afghanistan playing the role of the goat carcass fought over by innumerable teams. Washington must seize the opportunity now to replace this Great Game with a new grand bargain for the region.


THE SECURITY GAP

The Afghan and Pakistani security forces lack the numbers, skills, equipment, and motivation to confront the growing insurgencies in the two countries or to uproot al Qaeda from its new base in the FATA, along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Proposals for improving the security situation focus on sending additional international forces, building larger national security forces in Afghanistan, and training and equipping Pakistan's security forces, which are organized for conflict with India, for domestic counterinsurgency. But none of these proposals is sufficient to meet the current, let alone future, threats.

Some additional troops in Afghanistan could protect local populations while the police and the administration develop. They also might enable U.S. and NATO forces to reduce or eliminate their reliance on the use of air strikes, which cause civilian casualties that recruit fighters and supporters to the insurgency. U.S. General Barry McCaffrey, among others, has therefore supported a "generational commitment" to Afghanistan, such as the United States made to Germany and South Korea. Unfortunately, no government in the region around Afghanistan supports a long-term U.S. or NATO presence there. Pakistan sees even the current deployment as strengthening an India-allied regime in Kabul; Iran is concerned that the United States will use Afghanistan as a base for launching "regime change" in Tehran; and China, India, and Russia all have reservations about a NATO base within their spheres of influence and believe they must balance the threats from al Qaeda and the Taliban against those posed by the United States and NATO. Securing Afghanistan and its region will require an international presence for many years, but only a regional diplomatic initiative that creates a consensus to place stabilizing Afghanistan ahead of other objectives could make a long-term international deployment possible.

Afghanistan needs larger and more effective security forces, but it also needs to be able to sustain those security forces. A decree signed by President Karzai in December 2002 would have capped the Afghan National Army at 70,000 troops (it had reached 66,000 by mid-2008). U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has since announced a plan to increase that number to 122,000, as well as add 82,000 police, for a total of 204,000 in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Such increases, however, would require additional international trainers and mentors -- which are, quite simply, not available in the foreseeable future -- and maintaining such a force would far exceed the means of such a destitute country. Current estimates of the annual cost are around $2.5 billion for the army and $1 billion for the police. Last year, the Afghan government collected about 7 percent of a licit GDP estimated at $9.6 billion in revenue -- about $670 million. Thus, even if Afghanistan's economy experienced uninterrupted real growth of 9 percent per year, and if revenue extraction nearly doubled, to 12 percent (both unrealistic forecasts), in ten years the total domestic revenue of the Afghan government would be about $2.5 billion a year. Projected pipelines and mines might add $500 million toward the end of this period. In short, the army and the police alone would cost significantly more than Afghanistan's total revenue.

Many have therefore proposed long-term international financing of the ANSF; after all, even $5 billion a year is much less than the cost of an international force deployment. But sustaining, as opposed to training or equipping, security forces through foreign grants would pose political problems. It would be impossible to build Afghan institutions on the basis of U.S. supplemental appropriations, which is how the training and equipping of the ANSF are mostly funded. Sustaining a national army or national police force requires multiyear planning, impossible without a recurrent appropriation -- which would mean integrating ANSF planning into that of the United States' and other NATO members' budgets, even if the funds were disbursed through a single trust fund. And an ANSF funded from those budgets would have to meet international or other national, rather than Afghan, legal requirements. Decisions on funding would be taken by the U.S. Congress and other foreign bodies, not the Afghan National Assembly. The ANSF would take actions that foreign taxpayers might be reluctant to fund. Such long-term international involvement is simply not tenable.

If Afghanistan cannot support its security forces at the currently proposed levels on its own, even under the most optimistic economic scenario, and long-term international support or a long-term international presence is not viable, there is only one way that the ANSF can approach sustainability: the conditions in the region must be changed so that Afghanistan no longer needs such large and expensive security forces. Changing those conditions, however, will require changing the behavior of actors not only inside but also outside of the country -- and that has led many observers to embrace putting pressure on, and even launching attacks into, Pakistan as another deus ex machina for the increasingly dire situation within Afghanistan.


BORDERLINE INSECURITY DISORDER

After the first phase of the war in Afghanistan ended with the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 (and as the United States prepared to invade Iraq), Washington's limited agenda in the region was to press the Pakistani military to go after al Qaeda; meanwhile, Washington largely ignored the broader insurgency, which remained marginal until 2005. This suited the Pakistani military's strategy, which was to assist the United States against al Qaeda but to retain the Afghan Taliban as a potential source of pressure on Afghanistan. But the summer of 2006 saw a major escalation of the insurgency, as Pakistan and the Taliban interpreted the United States' decision to transfer command of coalition forces to NATO (plus U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's announcement of a troop drawdown, which in fact never took place) as a sign of its intention to withdraw. They also saw non-U.S. troop contributors as more vulnerable to political pressure generated by casualties.

The Pakistani military does not control the insurgency, but it can affect its intensity. Putting pressure on Pakistan to curb the militants will likely remain ineffective, however, without a strategic realignment by the United States. The region is rife with conspiracy theories trying to find a rational explanation for the United States' apparently irrational strategic posture of supporting a "major non-NATO ally" that is doing more to undermine the U.S. position in Afghanistan than any other state. Many Afghans believe that Washington secretly supports the Taliban as a way to keep a war going to justify a troop presence that is actually aimed at securing the energy resources of Central Asia and countering China. Many in Pakistan believe that the United States has deceived Pakistan into conniving with Washington to bring about its own destruction: India and U.S.-supported Afghanistan will form a pincer around Pakistan to dismember the world's only Muslim nuclear power. And some Iranians speculate that in preparation for the coming of the Mahdi, God has blinded the Great Satan to its own interests so that it would eliminate both of Iran's Sunni-ruled regional rivals, Afghanistan and Iraq, thus unwittingly paving the way for the long-awaited Shiite restoration.

The true answer is much simpler: the Bush administration never reevaluated its strategic priorities in the region after September 11. Institutional inertia and ideology jointly assured that Pakistan would be treated as an ally, Iran as an enemy, and Iraq as the main threat, thereby granting Pakistan a monopoly on U.S. logistics and, to a significant extent, on the intelligence the United States has on Afghanistan. Eighty-four percent of the materiel for U.S. forces in Afghanistan goes through Pakistan, and the ISI remains nearly the sole source of intelligence about international terrorist acts prepared by al Qaeda and its affiliates in Pakistan.

More fundamentally, the concept of "pressuring" Pakistan is flawed. No state can be successfully pressured into acts it considers suicidal. The Pakistani security establishment believes that it faces both a U.S.-Indian-Afghan alliance and a separate Iranian-Russian alliance, each aimed at undermining Pakistani influence in Afghanistan and even dismembering the Pakistani state. Some (but not all) in the establishment see armed militants within Pakistan as a threat -- but they largely consider it one that is ultimately controllable, and in any case secondary to the threat posed by their nuclear-armed enemies.

Pakistan's military command, which makes and implements the country's national security policies, shares a commitment to a vision of Pakistan as the homeland for South Asian Muslims and therefore to the incorporation of Kashmir into Pakistan. It considers Afghanistan as within Pakistan's security perimeter. Add to this that Pakistan does not have border agreements with either India, into which Islamabad contests the incorporation of Kashmir, or Afghanistan, which has never explicitly recognized the Durand Line, which separates the two countries, as an interstate border.

That border is more than a line. The frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan was structured as part of the defenses of British India. On the Pakistani side of the Durand Line, the British and their Pakistani successors turned the difficulty of governing the tribes to their advantage by establishing what are now the FATA. Within the FATA, these tribes, not the government, are responsible for security. The area is kept underdeveloped and overarmed as a barrier against invaders. (That is also why any ground intervention there by the United States or NATO will fail.) Now, the Pakistani military has turned the FATA into a staging area for militants who can be used to conduct asymmetric warfare in both Afghanistan and Kashmir, since the region's special status provides for (decreasingly) plausible deniability. This use of the FATA has eroded state control, especially in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, which abuts the FATA. The Swat Valley, where Pakistani Taliban fighters have been battling the government for several years, links Afghanistan and the FATA to Kashmir. Pakistan's strategy for external security has thus undermined its internal security.

On September 19, 2001, when then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced to the nation his decision to support the U.S.-led intervention against the Taliban in Afghanistan, he stated that the overriding reason was to save Pakistan by preventing the United States from allying with India. In return, he wanted concessions to Pakistan on its security interests.

Subsequent events, however, have only exacerbated Pakistan's sense of insecurity. Musharraf asked for time to form a "moderate Taliban" government in Afghanistan but failed to produce one. When that failed, he asked that the United States prevent the Northern Alliance (part of the anti-Taliban resistance in Afghanistan), which had been supported by India, Iran, and Russia, from occupying Kabul; that appeal failed. Now, Pakistan claims that the Northern Alliance is working with India from inside Afghanistan's security services. Meanwhile, India has reestablished its consulates in Afghan cities, including some near the Pakistani border. India has genuine consular interests there (Hindu and Sikh populations, commercial travel, aid programs), but it may also in fact be using the consulates against Pakistan, as Islamabad claims. India has also, in cooperation with Iran, completed a highway linking Afghanistan's ring road (which connects its major cities) to Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf, potentially eliminating Afghanistan's dependence on Pakistan for access to the sea and marginalizing Pakistan's new Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, which was built with hundreds of millions of dollars of Chinese aid. And the new U.S.-Indian nuclear deal effectively recognizes New Delhi's legitimacy as a nuclear power while continuing to treat Islamabad, with its record of proliferation, as a pariah. In this context, pressuring or giving aid to Pakistan, without any effort to address the sources of its insecurity, cannot yield a sustainable positive outcome.


BIG HAT, NO CATTLE

Rethinking U.S. and global objectives in the region will require acknowledging two distinctions: first, between ultimate goals and reasons to fight a war; and, second, among the time frames for different objectives. Preventing al Qaeda from regrouping so that it can organize terrorist attacks is an immediate goal that can justify war, to the extent that such war is proportionate and effective. Strengthening the state and the economy of Afghanistan is a medium- to long-term objective that cannot justify war except insofar as Afghanistan's weakness provides a haven for security threats.

This medium- to long-term objective would require reducing the level of armed conflict, including by seeking a political settlement with current insurgents. In discussions about the terms of such a settlement, leaders linked to both the Taliban and other parts of the insurgency have asked, What are the goals for which the United States and the international community are waging war in Afghanistan? Do they want to guarantee that Afghanistan's territory will not be used to attack them, impose a particular government in Kabul, or use the conflict to establish permanent military bases? These interlocutors oppose many U.S. policies toward the Muslim world, but they acknowledge that the United States and others have a legitimate interest in preventing Afghan territory from being used to launch attacks against them. They claim to be willing to support an Afghan government that would guarantee that its territory would not be used to launch terrorist attacks in the future -- in return, they say, for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

The guarantees these interlocutors now envisage are far from those required, and Afghanistan will need international forces for security assistance even if the current war subsides. But such questions can provide a framework for discussion. To make such discussions credible, the United States must redefine its counterterrorist goals. It should seek to separate those Islamist movements with local or national objectives from those that, like al Qaeda, seek to attack the United States or its allies directly -- instead of lumping them all together. Two Taliban spokespeople separately told The New York Times that their movement had broken with al Qaeda since 9/11. (Others linked to the insurgency have told us the same thing.) Such statements cannot simply be taken at face value, but that does not mean that they should not be explored further. An agreement in principle to prohibit the use of Afghan (or Pakistani) territory for international terrorism, plus an agreement from the United States and NATO that such a guarantee could be sufficient to end their hostile military action, could constitute a framework for negotiation. Any agreement in which the Taliban or other insurgents disavowed al Qaeda would constitute a strategic defeat for al Qaeda.

Political negotiations are the responsibility of the Afghan government, but to make such negotiations possible, the United States would have to alter its detention policy. Senior officials of the Afghan government say that at least through 2004 they repeatedly received overtures from senior Taliban leaders but that they could never guarantee that these leaders would not be captured by U.S. forces and detained at Guantбnamo Bay or the U.S. air base at Bagram, in Afghanistan. Talking with Taliban fighters or other insurgents does not mean replacing Afghanistan's constitution with the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, closing girls' schools, or accepting other retrograde social policies. Whatever weaknesses the Afghan government and security forces may have, Afghan society -- which has gone through two Loya Jirgas and two elections, possesses over five million cell phones, and has access to an explosion of new media -- is incomparably stronger than it was seven years ago, and the Taliban know it. These potential interlocutors are most concerned with the presence of foreign troops, and some have advocated strengthening the current ANSF as a way to facilitate those troops' departure. In November 2006, one of the Taliban's leading supporters in Pakistan, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, publicly stated in Peshawar that the Taliban could participate as a party in elections in Afghanistan, just as his party did in Pakistan (where it recently lost overwhelmingly), so long as they were not labeled as terrorists.


THE END OF THE GAME

There is no more a political solution in Afghanistan alone than there is a military solution in Afghanistan alone. Unless the decision-makers in Pakistan decide to make stabilizing the Afghan government a higher priority than countering the Indian threat, the insurgency conducted from bases in Pakistan will continue. Pakistan's strategic goals in Afghanistan place Pakistan at odds not just with Afghanistan and India, and with U.S. objectives in the region, but with the entire international community. Yet there is no multilateral framework for confronting this challenge, and the U.S.-Afghan bilateral framework has relied excessively on the military-supply relationship. NATO, whose troops in Afghanistan are daily losing their lives to Pakistan-based insurgents, has no Pakistan policy. The UN Security Council has hardly discussed Pakistan's role in Afghanistan, even though three of the permanent members (France, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have troops in Afghanistan, the other two are threatened by movements (in the North Caucasus and in Xinjiang) with links to the FATA, and China, Pakistan's largest investor, is poised to become the largest investor in Afghanistan as well, with a $3.5 billion stake in the Aynak copper mine, south of Kabul.

The alternative is not to place Pakistan in a revised "axis of evil." It is to pursue a high-level diplomatic initiative designed to build a genuine consensus on the goal of achieving Afghan stability by addressing the legitimate sources of Pakistan's insecurity while increasing the opposition to its disruptive actions. China, both an ally of Pakistan and potentially the largest investor in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, could play a particularly significant role, as could Saudi Arabia, a serious investor in and ally of Pakistan, former supporter of the Taliban, and custodian of the two holiest Islamic shrines.

A first step could be the establishment of a contact group on the region authorized by the UN Security Council. This contact group, including the five permanent members and perhaps others (NATO, Saudi Arabia), could promote dialogue between India and Pakistan about their respective interests in Afghanistan and about finding a solution to the Kashmir dispute; seek a long-term political vision for the future of the FATA from the Pakistani government, perhaps one involving integrating the FATA into Pakistan's provinces, as proposed by several Pakistani political parties; move Afghanistan and Pakistan toward discussions on the Durand Line and other frontier issues; involve Moscow in the region's stabilization so that Afghanistan does not become a test of wills between the United States and Russia, as Georgia has become; provide guarantees to Tehran that the U.S.-NATO commitment to Afghanistan is not a threat to Iran; and ensure that China's interests and role are brought to bear in international discussions on Afghanistan. Such a dialogue would have to be backed by the pledge of a multiyear international development aid package for regional economic integration, including aid to the most affected regions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, particularly the border regions. (At present, the United States is proposing to provide $750 million in aid to the FATA but without having any political framework to deliver the aid.)

A central purpose of the contact group would be to assure Pakistan that the international community is committed to its territorial integrity -- and to help resolve the Afghan and Kashmir border issues so as to better define Pakistan's territory. The international community would have to provide transparent reassurances and aid to Pakistan, pledge that no state is interested in its dismemberment, and guarantee open borders between Pakistan and both Afghanistan and India. The United States and the European Union would have to open up their markets to Pakistan's critical exports, especially textiles, and to Afghan products. And the United States would need to offer a road map to Pakistan to achieving the same kind of nuclear deal that was reached with India, once Pakistan has transparent and internationally monitored guarantees about the nonproliferation of its nuclear weapons technology.

Reassurances by the contact group that addressed Pakistan's security concerns might encourage Pakistan to promote, rather than hinder, an internationally and nationally acceptable political settlement in Afghanistan. Backing up the contact group's influence and clout must be the threat that any breaking of agreements or support for terrorism originating in the FATA would be taken to the UN Security Council. Pakistan, the largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, sees itself as a legitimate international power, rather than a spoiler; confronted with the potential loss of that status, it would compromise.

India would also need to become more transparent about its activities in Afghanistan, especially regarding the role of its intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. Perhaps the ISI and the RAW could be persuaded to enter a dialogue to explore whether the covert war they have waged against each other for the past 60 years could spare the territory of Afghanistan. The contact group could help establish a permanent Indian-Pakistani body at the intelligence and military levels, where complaints could be lodged and discussed. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank could also help set up joint reconstruction programs in Afghanistan. A series of regional conferences on economic cooperation for the reconstruction of Afghanistan have already created a partial framework for such programs.

Then there is Iran. The Bush administration responded to Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan in 2001 by placing Tehran in the "axis of evil" and by promising to keep "all options on the table," which is understood as a code for not ruling out a military attack. Iran has reacted in part by aiding insurgents in Afghanistan to signal how much damage it could do in response. Some Iranian officials, however, continue to seek cooperation with the United States against al Qaeda and the Taliban. The next U.S. administration can and should open direct dialogue with Tehran around the two countries' common concerns in Afghanistan. An opening to Iran would show that the United States need not depend solely on Pakistan for access to Afghanistan. And in fact, Washington and Tehran had such a dialogue until around 2004. In May 2005, when the United States and Afghanistan signed a "declaration of strategic partnership," Iran signaled that it would not object as long as the partnership was not directed against Iran. Iran would have to be reassured by the contact group that Afghan territory would not be used as a staging area for activities meant to undermine Iran and that all U.S. covert activities taking place from there would be stopped.

Russia's main concern -- that the United States and NATO are seeking a permanent U.S.-NATO military presence in Afghanistan and Central Asia -- will also need to be assuaged. Russia should be assured that U.S. and NATO forces can help defend, rather than threaten, legitimate Russian interests in Central Asia, including through cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Russia and the Central Asian states should be informed of the results of legitimate interrogations of militants who came from the former Soviet space and were captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

To overcome the zero-sum competition taking place between states, ethnic groups, and factions, the region needs to discover a source of mutual benefit derived from cooperation. China -- with its development of mineral resources and access roads in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the financial support it gave to build the port of Gwadar, and its expansion of the Karakoram Highway, which links China to northern Pakistan -- may be that source. China is also a major supplier of arms and nuclear equipment to Pakistan. China has a major interest in peace and development in the region because it desires a north-south energy and trade corridor so that its goods can travel from Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea ports of Pakistan and so that oil and gas pipelines can carry energy from the Persian Gulf and Iran to western China. In return for such a corridor, China could help deliver much-needed electricity and even water to both countries. Such a corridor would also help revive the economies of both Afghanistan and Pakistan.


MORE THAN TROOPS

Both U.S. presidential candidates are committed to sending more troops to Afghanistan, but this would be insufficient to reverse the collapse of security there. A major diplomatic initiative involving all the regional stakeholders in problem-solving talks and setting out road maps for local stabilization efforts is more important. Such an initiative would serve to reaffirm that the West is indeed committed to the long-term rehabilitation of Afghanistan and the region. A contact group, meanwhile, would reassure Afghanistan's neighbors that the West is determined to address not just extremism in the region but also economic development, job creation, the drug trade, and border disputes.

Lowering the level of violence in the region and moving the global community toward genuine agreement on the long-term goals there would provide the space for Afghan leaders to create jobs and markets, provide better governance, do more to curb corruption and drug trafficking, and overcome their countries' widening ethnic divisions. Lowering regional tensions would allow the Afghan government to have a more meaningful dialogue with those insurgents who are willing to disavow al Qaeda and take part in the political process. The key to this would be the series of security measures the contact group should offer Pakistan, thereby encouraging the Pakistani army to press -- or at least allow -- Taliban and other insurgent leaders on their soil to talk to Kabul.

The goal of the next U.S. president must be to put aside the past, Washington's keenness for "victory" as the solution to all problems, and the United States' reluctance to involve competitors, opponents, or enemies in diplomacy. A successful initiative will require exploratory talks and an evolving road map. Today, such suggestions may seem audacious, naive, or impossible, but without such audacity there is little hope for Afghanistan, for Pakistan, or for the region as a whole.

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Как интересно выходит: американцев, начавших зачитску в Зоне племен в Пакистане, обстреливают пакистанские войска. Индия, наверное, убедившись в самостоятельности президента Азиза, решается пойти на сотрудничество с ним в антитерроре [/url]- т.е. хочет помочь ему навести порядок И сразу же якобы пакистанские террористы (а то и Аль-Каеда, что окончательно подтвердит ее проамериканскую сущность) захватывают еврейский культурный центр в Мумбаи. Причем сразу же говорится, что это - дело рук мусульман, наверное, пакистанцев.
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Из Пакистана выдачи нет
Президент Пакистана Асиф Али Зардари заявил, что его страна не выдаст Индии людей, объявленных в розыск в связи с последними событиями в Мумбаи даже в том случае, если Дели предоставит доказательства их вины. На решение не повлияло даже то, что большинство из разыскиваемых - граждане Индии, состоящие в сепаратистских группировках, воюющих за отделение штата Джамму и Кашмир. Отказ Пакистана от выдачи подозреваемых индийскому правосудию может привести к военному конф­ликту - стороны уже стягивают к пакистано-индийской границе дополнительные армейские подразделения.
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Пакистан объявил войну террору
QUOTE
Под давлением США и Индии правительство Пакистана провело в воскресенье военную операцию против группировки "Лашкар-э-Таиба", которую Вашингтон и Дели обвиняют в причастности к ноябрьским терактам в Мумбаи. В тот же день боевики, подконтрольные "Талибану", совершили налет на военную базу НАТО в Пакис­тане. Негласный пакт о ненападении между властями Пакистана и террористами нарушен - страна оказалась на пороге гражданской войны.
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