Sunday, September 7, 2003
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What do you do with a country like Pakistan?
In anticipation of President Bush's progress report on Iraq and the war on terror tonight, here's a conundrum to consider:
Weak states are the incubator of terrorists. Pakistan is a weak, dusfunctional state that lacks a coherent sense of national identity. Its leader may be perceived as both strong and pro-Western, but that's only in comparison to the rest of the Pakistani elite, for whom the sectarian comes before the national.
The outcome from a weak Pakistani government is a perfect haven for Taliban remnants to harrass U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Ahmed Rashid makes this point in an article for YaleGlobal. Some highlights:
Read the whole article. To be fair to the U.S. and Pakistani governments, they're not blind to the problem. They have taken actions to try and reverse the flow of arms and men across the border.
But as the article also makes clear, they haven't done enough.
[Thanks to alert DanielDrezner.com reader A.A. for the tip.]posted by Dan on 09.07.03 at 09:02 AM
The question for Pakistan is the same as that for most of the developing world: how can we (outsiders, westerners) induce these countries elites to do the right thing by their own people? Indeed, to see their own people as fully human citizens of their own country? I don't have an answer to this, does anyone out there?posted by: Kelli on 09.07.03 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
Pakistan's future is generally admitted to be bleak. Here are the URL's for two pessimistic articles:
Washington Quarterly, Summer 2002, by Stephen Phillip Cohen
Bharat Rakshak Monitor, September-October 2002, by J.L. Khayyan Coelho
IMO Pakistan is a failed state which will eventually, after many megadeaths, be reincorporated into India. Our ability to avert this is minimal. The most we can hope for is to limit the damage to us.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 09.07.03 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
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