Freitag, 14. Mai 2010

Folding Afghanistan into its Region

Tim Sullivan of the American Enterprise Institute usually is contributing some valuable comments. On AEI's Center for Defense Studies he recently argued that getting Pakistan to abandon its idea of "strategic depth" in Afghanistan is one of the major hurdles in formulating a regional approach:

"But in truth, there is little India — or the United States, for that matter — can do to dissuade Pakistan’s national security establishment that Afghanistan remains a critical source of “strategic depth,” or that India’s engagement in the country — which has taken the form of a broad but low-profile "soft power" campaign — is anything other than an effort to encircle Pakistan."

He is right in as much as that there needs ot be a regional approach. But strategic depth has not been such a persistent issue as he seems to believe. On a recent trip to Pakistan I spoke to a couple of people of the Pakistani national security establishment, consensus being that the idea of strategic depth was no longer serving Pakistans national interests. His description was perfectly fine for the situation a year ago, but what he misses is that the security elite in Pakistan has already realised that the most urgent threat is the Taliban. Though it took them some time, Sullivan is preaching to the choir.

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