Afghanistan, Pakistan and the domino theory

July 26, 2009

In the eight years since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, political pundits have used, and largely overused, all the available historical references. We have had the comparisons to the British 19th century failures there, to the Great Game, and to the Soviet Union’s disastrous experience in the 1980s. More recently, it has been labelled ”Obama’s Vietnam”.

The latest leitmotif is the domino theory - the view that Vietnam had to be saved from communism or other Asian countries would go the same way.  In the case of Afghanistan, the argument is that if it falls to the Taliban, then Pakistan too might become vulnerable – an infinitely more dangerous proposition given that it is a country of some 170 million people with nuclear bombs.

Britain’s Paddy Ashdown alluded to this idea in an op-ed in the Independent titled “What we must do to win this war in Afghanistan”. “I start from the proposition that the war in Afghanistan is one we have to fight and must win. The cost of failure there is just too great. It includes the certain fall of Pakistan and the possible emergence of the world’s first jihadist government with a nuclear weapon …” he writes.

In an article in the American Interest, analyst Stephen Biddle spells this out further by arguing that the main reason for the United States to fight in Afghanistan is to prevent it from destabilising Pakistan.

“With a population of 173 million (five times Afghanistan’s), a GDP of more than $160 billion (more than 10 times Afghanistan’s) and a functional nuclear arsenal of perhaps 20 to 50 warheads, Pakistan is a much more dangerous prospective state sanctuary for al Qaeda. Furthermore, the likelihood of government collapse in Pakistan, which would enable the establishment of such a sanctuary, may be in the same ballpark as Afghanistan, at least in the medium to long term,” he writes.

“Pakistani state collapse, moreover, is a danger over which the United States has only limited influence. We have uneven and historically fraught relations with the Pakistani military and intelligence services, and our ties with the civilian government of the moment can be no more efficacious than that government’s own sway over the country. The United States is too unpopular with the Pakistani public to have any meaningful prospect of deploying major ground forces there to assist the government in counterinsurgency.”

Robert Haddick, the managing editor of Small Wars Journal, takes aim at this line of thinking in an article in Foreign Policy.

“Contrary to Biddle’s assertion, it seems equally reasonableto argue that Taliban-controlled Afghanistan provided a relief valve of sorts for Islamist pressure that might have otherwise formed inside Pakistan during the 1990s. And although the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban are two distinct movements, the U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan may be inciting and pressurizing Taliban activity inside Pakistan. Contrary to what Biddle argues, the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan may be increasing rather than decreasing the risk to Pakistan,” he says.

“As Biddle points out, the Barack Obama’s administration will have a hard enough time maintaining public support for the Afghan campaign. Best to leave the domino theory out of it.”

He is perhaps right to say that the domino theory is not a useful comparison, having been so widely discredited in Vietnam. Yet arguably the domino theory went wrong not as a concept but on specifics. The United States failed to notice that the Vietminh/Vietcong were nationalists more than communists while it also misread the intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union and China when it allowed itself to be dragged into military defeat.

But if the real reason for fighting in Afghanistan is to prevent the destabilisation of Pakistan, should this not be discussed openly?

The questions, as in Vietnam, come down to specifics. Are the Taliban primarily Pashtun nationalists who, if brought into the political power structure in Afghanistan, would cease to be a threat? Or are they primarily a religious force intent on spreading global jihad in which Pakistan would be the next domino? (Most people you ask say both, with the argument being over which characteristic predominates.) And what are the intentions of Afghanistan’s neighbours, and of the United States and its allies? Would success or failure in Afghanistan lead to more problems in the neighbourhood – as was widely assumed in Vietnam – or not?

In one of the more dispassionate articles I have read on this in recent weeks, Dawn columnist Irfan Husain writes that the war in Afghanistan can be neither won nor lost.

But the price of failure, and a Western troop withdrawal would be this: ”… we would be back to the pre-9/11 situation. The only difference would be that the Taliban would be viewed as the force that had defeated the mighty Americans. This would give them an aura of legitimacy and invincibility that would win them many recruits and financial backers.”

“… the victorious Taliban would have their own agenda, and would not be the puppets the ISI think they would be able to manipulate. An earlier generation of jihadis drove out the Red Army, and after defeating the U.S.-led coalition, it is unlikely that Mullah Omar would accept dictation from our generals in Islamabad. Chances are that he and his Pakistani allies would seek to extend their writ across large swathes of Pakistan.

“Encouraged by the success of the holy warriors in Afghanistan, groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba would step up their jihad against India in Kashmir. A re-Talibanised Afghanistan would once again become a magnet for young jihadis from across the world. Al Qaeda would emerge from hiding and renew its war against the West and modernity. Rapidly, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan would become the epicentre of the global jihad to an even greater extent than the region is now.

“Already, there is said to be a strong nexus between the Taliban and the Muslim Uighur separatist movement … The Taliban, ignorant as they are of how the world works, would provoke Russia by openly supporting the Chechen rebels. In short, they would quickly antagonise India, Iran, the West, Russia and China. And as Pakistan would once again be sucked into supporting Kabul, we would be tarred with the same brush as the Taliban. This is the scenario that we and the West need to keep in mind as the war against the Taliban drags on.

“This is a war that cannot be won. But equally, it is a war that cannot be lost.”

54 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

“I start from the proposition that the war in Afghanistan is one we have to fight and must win. The cost of failure there is just too great. It includes the certain fall of Pakistan and the possible emergence of the world’s first jihadist government with a nuclear weapon “Bulls eye, I wish Americans had learned it when they left Afghanistan earlier. Now more countries are in Danger, Not only USA and India could be targets but also many countries in Europe, and China are vulnerable. There is every possibility of Attacks and Islamization in these countries.But this war cannot be won without Pakistan. If they don’t stop differentiating between Afghan taliban and Pakistani taliban this war is never going to end. Terrorists will be swinging to and fro until Pakistan seals its border with Af.Pakistan does not and will not realize today that their Policy of extremism has failed and they are the one who will be next. They are neck deep in false beliefs. World has to get them out forcibly or let them sink with Af, and give them same treatment as Af is having.

Posted by singh | Report as abusive

The center of gravity of taliban-AQ is in Pakistan. US death toll at 680. When the death toll crosses the threshold, US army will cross the border in to Pakistan. Pakistanis are very soon running out of excuses and US is running out of patience.Obama has repeatedly said before elections, he’ll invade Pakistan if needed and he’ll very well deliver on his promises.War is not over until US boots march on Pakistani soil!

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

This war can be won if1. We liberate People of FATA, Balochistan and Pashtuns and give them their free country on condition that they will never allow taliban any safe house. This will secure the border and free movement of Taliban across the border.2. Once the border is secure, Afghanistan is a safe country.3. Pakistan won’t have worry about Afghanistan any more as Pakhunistan and Baluchistan will be in between.4. About Taliban and AQ leaders in Pakistan, delay the US aid to Pakistan a month, Pakistan will pull out 10 taliban leaders from the hat.

Posted by Jerome | Report as abusive

Bush was very successful with Af-Pak. He filled the Guantanamo Bay prison with Pakistanis and started droning FATA. He bought so many Pakistanis and even drone bases in Pakistan.Why is Obama floundering?Because Bush had Richard Armitrage, who gave Musharraf 48 hours to get ready for stone age. He gave Musharraf only 2 choices: With US or against US.But Obama got Holbrooke, who is busy drinking Chai with IDPs and listens to endless lies from Pakistanis.Bush spent his billions better and wiser.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

The war has been sustained by the taliban due to pak army/isi support. Its the obvious choice of defeating the taliban, the primary objective of this war, which should be pursued even if it means causing greater problems for pak. As for pak ”they reap what they sow”.Boots on the battlefield do not have to be of US or UK citizenship, a fact proven by the gurkha regiment of the british army. The troops required for a COIN ops can be recruited from Baluchistan, N-Afghanistan and also Sri-Lanka.A concerted pressure on the taliban and pak army will eventually witness the pak army getting rid of the taliban for the very reason most commentators claim the west would exit from here, physical and psychlogical exhaustion. There is a saying in urdu, ”you can’t have 2 swords in one scabbard”

Posted by uday mudaliar | Report as abusive

ISI Kidnaps Baloch Students To Obtain Forced Confessions and generates evidence against India, Afghanistan and UShttp://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0907/ S00443.htm

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive

I have a problem with this article. I thought the domino theory was used in American foreign policy in relation to Iraq. Here, the raison d’etre of the Ba’athist party was to invade all the Gulf states in turn in order to reinstitute the old Ottoman or Persian Empire. The beginning was Kuwait, which has a sea-port. As we know, Saddam’s Iraq was secular so presumably not Jihadist and not much like Pakistan. I thought Iran was more fundamentalist Islam, but not a nuclear threat because the US has been preventing that. I think it is important to disentangle some of these motivations in order not to become paranoid.

Posted by Caroline Statham | Report as abusive

The war today in Afghanistan is the direct result of events that took place between 1979-89 inside Afghanistan and is a mere continuation of it. Afghanistan has never been stable for quite a while now. First the Americans set up a trap and lured the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, once the USSR invaded, the Americans decided it was their opportunity to give the Soviets their Vietnam.During those years Americans used Pakistan, working themselves from behind the scenes, money, weapons and assistance was provided to ISI to resist the Soviets and defeat them. The Mujahideen defeated Soviets backed by ISI, CIA, American and Saudi funding.So why is eveyone crying, what is the problem? Pakistan and Afghanistan were radicalized, armed, trained and used to defeat the Soviets. It is good the Americans are learning their lessons, providing assistnce to rebuild, engaging in COIN and undoing the wrong they did. The radicals who were prepared to fight against Communists have now turned against the Capitalists. The Afghan war is already a mess, a Pakistan invasion is completely out of question because of the catastrophic consequences of invading a nuclear armed muslim country.The only option is a face-saving exit, rebuild Afghanistan to a certain extent, leave it to Afghan security forces and get the hell out. Most importantly NOT to mess with Pakistan at all, because if Pakistan goes wrong nothing will come right. Pakistan has already suffered a lot due to the US-Russian involvement in Afghanistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair Posted:”So why is eveyone crying, what is the problem? Pakistan and Afghanistan were radicalized, armed, trained and used to defeat the Soviets.”Pakistan offered itself to US against soviets. Pakistan could have denied that earlier but greedy generals of PA never did that. Pak did that again after 911, Why does Pakistan blames US for its miseries today. Its Pakistan who is crying for aid, nobody else. If US decides to bomb Pakistan they can do it. Korean missiles painted in Green cannot reach US.”It is good the Americans are learning their lessons, providing assistance to rebuild, engaging in COIN and undoing the wrong they did.”Americans learnt their lesson and they started “Droning” Pakistan, very soon they will be using B-52 with cluster bombs on FATA and NW areas, when will Pak learn its lesson, that’s the question.”The only option is a face-saving exit, rebuild Afghanistan to a certain extent, leave it to Afghan security forces and get the hell out. Most importantly NOT to mess with Pakistan at all, because if Pakistan goes wrong nothing will come right.”Only option is stay in AF till last Jihadi meets his 72 virgins, if they keep coming from Pak bomb them too. And FYI USA is already messing with pak, they Drone your cities, they choose your leaders and they ask you to do operations. What different meaning “messing” has in your dictionary ?

Posted by singh | Report as abusive

Umair says:”Pakistan invasion is completely out of question because of the catastrophic consequences of invading a nuclear armed muslim country.The only option is a face-saving exit, rebuild Afghanistan to a certain extent, leave it to Afghan security forces and get the hell out.”The U.S. can invade Pakistan and will if it chooses to, if Pakistan continues to undermine the Afghan mission. If Pak uses a Nuke against U.S. forces or the Fifth Fleet, the U.S. will Flatten and decimate Pakistan to the history books. Pakistan will not be a recoverable society, not even in 1000 years. India will get its land back.Let Pakistani’s not forget, 911 was hashed on Pakistani soil. The U.S. has not gotten even for that, yet, as Pakistan’s state agencies are still unrepentant and unwilling to change their terrorist ways.Obama is a lawyer and will eventually “try and convict and sentence” Pakistan in his own manner, when the time comes.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

I have never bought into the Domino Theory wholesale. However, that does not mean there are no risks to Pakistan of a Western/NATO/US failure in Afghanistan. I certainly think Pakistanis highly overestimate the amount of influence they will have over the Afghan Taliban should the Taliban perceive that they have won a victory over Western forces. That’s the nature of jihadis, they view all relationships through the lens of their objectives and the only ones they value are the ones with partners to whom they feel ideological kinship. Pakistani governmental and military sympathy and support is just a convenient relationship for them today. If they win in Afghanistan it won’t be long before they stop taking “advice” from the ISI and start supporting their Pakistani brethren fighting in the FATA.Pakistanis are slowly and unwittingly following the Israeli precedent in trading the PLO for Hamas. In attempting to counter Karzai’s efforts at stirring Pashtun nationalism and the perceived Indian involvement in Afghanistan, the Pakistanis are unwittingly setting themselves up to host a strong, Islamist Pashtun movement through the Pakistani Taliban. The risk to a second dismemberment of Pakistan, then, is real and does not come from any external threat but from within. And the cries of Indian involvement or threats of nuclear weapons use will do nothing to stop the growth of influence of this movement. As long as the Pakistan Army is viewed as a foreign force in the FATA (and to some extent the NWFP), it won’t be much of a stretch to imagine a successful Afghan Taliban supporting their “oppressed” brethren against the “occupying” Pakistan Army.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

To add to the previous statement. The Pakistani establishment will be held accountable, if the Afghan mission fails. The U.S.’s next move will be to fix Pakistan. Pakistan will pay a heavy price if the Afghan mission fails.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Truly naive propositions by Robin John Jerome. Can any of you even name a single Pashtun tribe??if bush had an other term, U.S. would have made new records in external debit!!!???”US death toll at 680″Is nothing compere to civilian causalities we have because of your drones. Comments like these always remind me.”truth is the first causality of war”.

Posted by OM | Report as abusive

Singh posted:”Americans learnt their lesson and they started “Droning” Pakistan, very soon they will be using B-52 with cluster bombs on FATA and NW areas,”-Who are you trying to fool? The drone attacks target terrorists in Waziristan and happen with tacit approval of Pakistan Air Force. For the record, an Israeli made indian UAV was shot down at night by a Pakistani F-16 during 2001-02 border stand off. Bottom line according Pakistan Air Force chief of staff Pakistan has the capability and will to shoot the CIA drones out of the sky but its upto the government if it wants to start a shooting war with the Americans. Yet again, after the September 2008 angoor adda special forces raid, Pakistan Army was ordered to open fire on intruding US and NATO forces and few occasions Pakistan Army did open fire on US and NATO choppers, at others warning shots were fired to deter them. The US had underestimated Pakistan’s resolve, and called off any future ground raids due to Pakistan’s retaliation; link:http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/ 09/Army_border_ops_092608w/“The raid represented “a strategic miscalculation,” the U.S. government official said. “Pakistan threatened to cut coalition supply lines and open fire on future intruding forces.Coming to B-52s and cluster bombings, with the US economy down in the drain i dont think Americans would think of stupid actions. Can they afford yet another carpet bombing after what Baghdad has got them into? Besides squadrons of JF-17s will be operational in Pakistan Air Force by the end of this year and Air Weapons Complex in Wah manufactures a range of indigineous weapons and armament. Pakistan might not be able to match US firepower, but the resolve is their to confront any agressor.Nad FYI, Pakistani missiles have a lot of assets in range, and I dont have to go into detail you should be wise enough.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Pakistan is a jihadi-infested failed state. The ISI sponsored Taliban, LeT, JuD, JeM, and their Uighur and Chechen allies threaten not only the US and western interests but also the Indian, the Chinese, and the Russian interests. It is time for US, India, and China to get together and manage the deconstruction and eventual reconstruction of Pakistan – much like the allied forces did with Nazi Germany!

Posted by gautama | Report as abusive

Think Irfan’s comments are very balanced and are more in sync with the ground reality… At the same time, I think the West’s focus now should shift to Pakistan while not loosening the grip over the situation in Afghanistan. It’s clear that Pakistan is the new haven for the Taliban. And it’s fraught with dangerous consequences in view of the possibility of rogue elements getting accesss to nuclear weapons. Believe the US is in control of Pak’s nuclear arsenal, but a lot needs to be done on the ground to ensure that it remains out of bounds for the Jehadis.

Posted by Pradip Bagchi | Report as abusive

It’s the most hilarious joke of them all when Pakistanis start talking about the ‘failing US economy’. Yes dear Pakistanis, the US economy has failed. Not only that, in fact the European economy, the Asia-Pacific economy, the East-European economy, the Indian economy, the Chinese economy, all of them have indeed failed. The only economy standing in the world today, on it’s own strength is the great Pakistani economy. The US & the world need to learn a thing or 2 about economics from the Pakistanis & in fact start borrowing or rather start begging for funds from Pakistan. LMAO!

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Umair Posted:”The drone attacks target terrorists in Waziristan and happen with tacit approval of Pakistan Air Force. For the record, an Israeli made indian UAV was shot down at night by a Pakistani F-16 during 2001-02 border stand off.”If its done after Pak approval, why do your leaders and Army officers keep begging them to stop it. Problem is We don’t know whom should we trust in your country, Your govt, ISI, Pak Army or You a common citizen ?? For the record, Indian UAV was shot by TWO F-16 not one (as you claimed) and this drone did not have any counter attack measures. You need F16′s to shoot a dumb drone and two of them, BUT “Predetor” is different, you don’t dare to touch it because it may shoot back too.You said:”Bottom line according Pakistan Air Force chief of staff Pakistan has the capability and will to shoot the CIA drones out of the sky but its upto the government if it wants to start a shooting war with the Americans.”Having capacity and using it are totally different things. Americans will keep doing what they want to do in your country and you can never stop them. Its just you have not exceeded their threshold YET.You keep bragging:”Coming to B-52s and cluster bombings, with the US economy down in the drain i dont think Americans would think of stupid actions. Can they afford yet another carpet bombing after what Baghdad has got them into? “As I already said, American economy is far too big, they are FEEDING your Country of 170 million for so long, if they just stop your aid, you might die of hunger. Their economy is way too large they can even support another 50 wars. BTW when Americans bomb none of your Chinese J-17 will ever see the sky. There is no SAM which can reach B-2 Spirit, and after they destroy your Detectors, you will see B52′s in real. I am not war expert though but I feel this may be a good way to go.”Pakistani missiles have a lot of assets in range, and I dont have to go into detail you should be wise enough.”Yeah I know, but if they let you fire em. BTW American assets do have a Anti Missile protection shield shh.By comparing Pakistan with America in military and economic terms is like fooling yourself. You may be a proud Pakistani but don’t be delusional.

Posted by singh | Report as abusive

Hi Myra,Do you have some information or link about where these talibans/jehadists are getting their weapons from? Even bullets?Against Soviet union, we all know where they got the Stinger missles from. But where are they getting weapons now? Do they manufacture? I am really curios to know. Because I think thats where the “Military victory” for US should start from.

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

Myra:@ In the case of Afghanistan, the argument is that if it falls to the Taliban, then Pakistan too might become vulnerable – an infinitely more dangerous proposition given that it is a country of some 170 million people with nuclear bombs.”–The Taliban next door alone might not hurt Pakistan if they have resolve. It is Pakistan’s tendency to use Taliban (or other terrorists) as strategic assets, which gives Taliban the survival advantage? At this moment the doubt exists among friends and foes of Pakistan about the anti-Taliban military action by Pakistan.If Pakistan thinks that Post-US/NATO exit Pakistan will re-establish the old power order in Afghanistan with Taliban rule under direct control of ISI, then Pakistan is living in a dream. Pakistan will not be allowed to hob nob with Af-Taliban like in the past. Taliban leaders Mullah Omar is in touch with Pakistan but not caught and Behtulla Mehsud is nowhere to be seen. They are saved for rainy days by Pakistan. But things have changed:1. Post-Westerners exit, Taliban will emerge stronger and will not listen to ISI.2. Taliban has supports and trains Uighur Muslims in China and Xinjiang trouble by Uighur left ~150 Han Chinese dead-Chinese version of 9/11, 26/11. China is the last and the only hope of financial aid if US fails in Afghanistan. China has already told Pakistan to take care of their buddies Taliban and Pakistan has handed over to China the Uighur Muslims from Pakistan and taken anti-Taliban posture. Handling some Uighur Muslims to China and timing the release of the Chinese Engrs held by Taliban with China visit of Zardari will not be sufficient for the very demanding Chinese. Pakistan will have to pay through its nose for any aid from China. Timing their actions before visit to China seems like the same old Pakistani move with USA to get money. If US know these tricks of Pakistan, Chinese certainly do.3. Post-Xinjiang China’s crackdown on Uighur Muslims, Al-Qaida has “vowed to avenge the deaths of Muslims in China by targeting the Chinese Workers Africa”. China is a difficult target to hit by A-Q, but Pakistan, which helps China against Uighur Muslims, will become a soft target of Al-Qaida.4. Arabian countries silently and Turkey openly condemned Chinese anti-Uighur action. This is not small move since Turkey government is under severe internal political pressure to suspend defense relations with China. Pakistan with Islamic bomb stands exposed for anti-Uighur/pro-Chinese actions much like Pro-US/anti-Taliban posture.5. China has interests in natural resources of Afghanistan and will not like any monkey play by Pakistan (like supporting any brand of fundamentalists) which is counterproductive to Chinese interests in Afghanistan and to its national interests. Taliban et al are out of question in this.Pakistan, likes it or not, much to their dismay, will have to agree to Chinese demands but this has exposed the sham Islamic status of Pakistan.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Cannot agree more with John, Jerome & Robin!

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

Let’s try and stick to the topic. All this bluster about the strength or failings of the US and/or other western economies is irrelevant. Their ability to provide aid to Pakistan is the only thing that matters to the discussion at hand. If the US economy were failing to the point that aid to Pakistan was in peril, then it might make for an appropriate discussion topic. Other than that any economic comparison between Pakistan and the US is laughable. The US even in its darkest hours has never needed charity.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

It is true that the U.S. helped radicalize the militants to fight the Soviets and enlisted the help of the Pakistan Terrorist specialists in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.Now, this time, when the U.S. leaves, it has a moral duty to clean up the mess it left behind. This means, the U.S. should purge Afghanistan and Pakistan of militantism, Al-Qaeda, Taliban and all proxy armies.This should be done with droning. The U.S. military should consider widening and opening its Military to have thousands of drone fighters.In short, the level of droning should go up by 1000′s of times percent in Pakistan. All drones from the size of an insect(to infiltrate) to a remote controlled “Reaper” Drone (controlled out of the Nevada Desert)should be utilized to their full capability to takeout militants, their supporters, planners, financieers and trainers and their mentors.Coupled with good intelligence, this is much cheaper and less messy than putting soldiers on the ground.The Drone wars have just begun.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

@Let’s try and stick to the topic. All this bluster about the strength or failings of the US and/or other western economies is irrelevant.”-posted by Keith-Guys: I agree. Pakistanis are helped despite the recession in US and elsewhere. Also it is pointless to compare the war capabilities of US and Pak.@Fall of Pakistan: Pakistan’s fall is dependent upon internal (true democracy and control by civilian govt) and foreign policies of Pakistan (disengagement with terrorists of all stripes). If Pakistan and Pakistanis have not realized the imprtance of this yet, Pakistan is cooked for sure.The only reason pakistan is standing today is its geopolitical importance, which is nothing to do with what Pakistan’s own achievements.I have few questions for anyone:1. Despite this anti-Taliban Rah-e-Rast operation operation by Pakistan, has Pakistan quit its policy to use terrorists (Taliban et al) as strategic assets? My personal view is that consistent with the notion that Westerners are here for short time and will leave Pakistan high and dry, Pakistan is still saving the top Taliban leadership and will not like total eradication. Their will release these rats in Afghanistan to rule in order to prove that they controlled the game. After all they have something to show in cold war and will not have anything if US/NATO exits without success. Pakistan version of redeaming old glory and success if they control Afghanistan.2. If Mullah Omar is in touch with Army, why has not he taken out yet? Army says it can bring Omar to the table: that’s not an encouraging sign.http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-n ews-newspaper-daily-english-online/Polit ics/11-Jul-2009/Army-in-contact-with-Mul lah-OmarPlus TTP chief B. Mehsud is nowhere to be seen.3. Does Pakistan ISI really believe itself when it says India is helping Taliban or anyother? Or is it just diverting attention?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

correction:@Fall of Pakistan: Pakistan’s STABILITY is dependent upon internal (true democracy and control by civilian govt) and foreign policies of Pakistan (disengagement with terrorists of all stripes).

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

The whole domino theory rests on the weight that if one nation came into communist ideologies, other nations in the region would follow suit, like what happened to some of the European nations immediately after the WWII. In this case, other than pakistan, I really don’t feel anyone would like to subscribe to Taliban ideologies definetely not Iran, India, or China. There is enough chaos and power vaccum in Pakistan already and nothing new is required per se from Taliban.Keep the nukes and non-state kids in check and everything else should fall in place. Pakistan may be on Life support, but still they have not experienced the real threat from the Taliban and I am sure most of the operations going on in FATA/Afghan border is an eye-wash. I do not see any credible info that Taliban’s are defeated or their leaders killed/on trial. It’ll be like this until there is a nexus is broken between the ISI/Pak Army/Taliban/LeT/? with or without knowledge of Pak Leaders.

Posted by Praveen | Report as abusive

Nigerian ‘Taliban’ routed as Army storms its basehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5941 137/Nigerian-Taliban-routed-as-Army-stor ms-its-base.htmlMay be we should bring Nigerian army to Pakistan and pay the billions of US aid and weapons to Nigeria. At least they are honest and serious.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

Praveen:”In this case, other than pakistan, I really don’t feel anyone would like to subscribe to Taliban ideologies definetely not Iran, India, or China.”Do you think Pakistani support Taliban? no. These so called “Taliban” terrorists who ever they are, they rule through fear. Poor people get subdued by them due to fear, and you know poverty is rampant in South Asia, even in India, Bangladesha nd Sri Lanka to an extent, not excluding Pakistan. Domino theory in this case becomes very evident. Dont just try to associate Pakistan with it, every country in South Asia will be at risk.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Keith”Let’s try and stick to the topic. All this bluster about the strength or failings of the US and/or other western economies is irrelevant. Their ability to provide aid to Pakistan is the only thing that matters to the discussion at hand. If the US economy were failing to the point that aid to Pakistan was in peril, then it might make for an appropriate discussion topic. Other than that any economic comparison between Pakistan and the US is laughable. The US even in its darkest hours has never needed charity.”I agree, we must get back to the topic, but you are overestimating the US economy. America is spending billions in Pakistan and same time fighting a hi-tech war in Pakistani tribal areas all to minimize the threats it faces. As for the strength of US economy, you know how many jobs have been lost all these months, you know how much US owes to China.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Does Pakistan ISI really believe itself when it says India is helping Taliban or anyother? Or is it just diverting attention?- Posted by rajeevIt doesn’t really matter whether the ISI believes it or not. What’s of importance is that the common Pakistani is buying into this conspiracy theory. This sentiment is echoed by many Pakistanis on this blog & elsewhere, who keep parroting the same ISI/Pak army lines that India is fomenting trouble in it’s provinces. As ridiculous as these claims might sound to a non-Pakistani, it’s a line in the sand for most Pakistanis as they have lost the moral & mental aptitude to question the falsehoods, fed to them by their army/ISI & the ones that do have the courage of conviction to question the Pak army/ISI are termed as traitors & CIA/RAW agents by the Pakistani propaganda machine.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Umair says “Do you think Pakistani support Taliban? no”For your reference,http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12  /08/world/nation-challenged-supplying-t aliban-pakistan-ended-aid-taliban-only-h esitantly.htmlThis might be an article from the past, but as famously quoted “Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times”

Posted by Sunny | Report as abusive

America is spending billions in Pakistan and same time fighting a hi-tech war in Pakistani tribal areas all to minimize the threats it faces.-Posted by UmairBillions for a multi-trillion dollar economy is nothing. And it’s not a high tech war, it’s a low tech war. That’s been the challenge so far. If the Americans really had their way, you’d get A-10s, F-16s and Apaches doing strikes instead of Preds armed a handful of missiles. Don’t be fooled. This is hardly the extent of American (and Western) warfighting abilities.As for the strength of US economy, you know how many jobs have been lost all these months, you know how much US owes to China.- Posted by UmairKeep in mind that the US emerged from the Great Depression and the war that followed as the strongest economic and industrial power on the planet. There are signs of economic recovery and the US is getting ready to pull out of Iraq. US attention will now turn entirely to its AfPak problem. And you can be damn sure that there’s no agency in Washington that does not stick those two countries in the same basket. That means, the policies and treatment will be virtually the same for both: more aid, but far more US action (in Afghanistan and if the PA proves unwilling than in Pakistan as well). Things are going to get really hot in a year or two.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

@all bloggers,At the end of the day, the Pakistani Army and ISI are the enablers of the Taliban, both good and bad. The Taliban cannot survive as a credible insurgent force unless the state of Pakistan, rogue or non-rogue, state or non-state actors are helping, aiding and abetting those criminals.It would not take much for the Pak Army and ISI, that is Gen Kayani and Gen Pasha to call for an all out decapitating strike against the Taliban leadership, as they could be wiped out completely by Pakistan within a few days, if they chose to. But they are not, Pakistan is chosing to keep them alive as a proxy asset to destablize Afghanistan and are putting on a hell of an act for the west and burning through the cash like there is no tomorrow. Their lies will shine through, like they always do.No terrorism from or within Pakistan can exist without help from Pakistani State agencies.If we call the proxy armies and taliban “terrorists”,what do you call those from Pakistani state agencies who aid, abet, army, supply and support them?It is time that the U.S. pulls off the gloves and makes the Pakistani establishment hurt a little bit. There has to be some implied threat against state agencies, some Droning, otherwise, they will continue to operate hiding in the shadows, lying, plotting and scheming more failures for the U.S. mission.The question is, when will the US reach its limit with Pakistan?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Every power has met its end in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union disappeared soon after losing in this hostile country. Looks like the US has its moment coming. Already its economy is struggling. Prolonged war in this region will consume it. So contrary to the belief and hope of some people on this forum, America can go broke if it does not succeed in its efforts to contain this region and control it. And it has not made an inch of progress over the past eight years in its attempt. One never knows. The US might decline after this war, just like Britain declined as a super power after WW II. Those who fly high, get hurt severely when they fall. Those who stay down, don’t have that problem.

Umair says “Do you think Pakistani support Taliban? no”I am sure the whole world knows about the Pak affair with the Afghan Taliban during the period of 1996-2001, supplying funds, arms, ammunition, recognition and strategy.Also a few months back, in your posts you had staunchly recommended for installing Pak Taliban in Swat with Shariat law.The Taliban have always been the same, it is the Pak perspective that changed overnite from Taliban as brothers to beasts. Pak waited until the hammer slammed itz own toes.Itz the lightning flip-flops in the pak policy that keeps the world on its toes about Pakistan, the Pak leaderships are incoherent and do not have any startegy that translates to long term stability or peace in the South Asian region.Regarding poverty and Domino effectPoverty alone does not force people to subscribe ideologies but it is a major factor, it needs a few other elements like power vaccum, extreme corruption, occupation, domination, injustice, no hope conditions must be there for an ideology to take root. I hope you get the point and you cannot compare Pak’s conditions with other nations on a same scale. Yet most of them don’t give headaches to the world.

Posted by Praveen | Report as abusive

In any Pakistani blog, the discussion around an unconquered Afghanistan rotates around the 2 superpowers defeated by the Afghans and the supposed fact that the 3′rd superpower is already on her knees.A lot of Western commentators fall for the same story line given their view of history is driven by what happened to the British, to the Soviet Union and now to the US of A.The facts are different.From 1200 A.D till about 1500 AD, Afghanistan was under the yoke of the Mongols. These terrible steppe horsemen, exploded into a fairly civilized Afghanistan, under Genghis Khan the greatest conqueror the world has seen. The invasion of Afghanistan resulted in massiveslaughter of the local population and total destruction of many cities.In 1220 the Mongols sacked Balkh, butchered its inhabitants and levelled all the buildings capable of defense. In 1221 it was the turn of Herat which was captured and razed to the ground. The same was the fate of Ghazni and Bamian.Afghanistan was absorbed into the Ilkhanate empire after the conquest and so it remained until Timur the de-facto of the Chagatai Khanate conquered Afghanistan. From the 16th to the early 18th centuries, Afghanistan was divided, with the Uzbeks in the North, the west under the Safavid empire and the east ruled by the the Indian Mughals.The Hazaras are a distinct racial group descended from the conquering Mongols and are the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. You cannot miss the fact that the Mongols were in Afghanistan. There is living proof of their passing.Unconquerable Afghanistan. Absolutely NOT.Note:Russia is another country that historians claim to be the humiliator of world conquerors.Napoleon’s French army was defeated not just by the legions of Tsar Alexander, but also by the Russian Winter. Hitler and the German Panzer were mired in the swamps of the Russian prairie and the famed blitzkrieg came to a shuddering stop when faced with Mother Russia and her lieutenant, General Winter.The Mongol Invasion of Russia was heralded by the Battle of the Kalka river in 1223.In the autumn of 1236, the Mongol Batu Khan crossed the Volga river and conquered Volga Bulgaria. In December 1237, Batu conquered Ryazan, Kolomna and Moscow. Then the Mongol horde laid siege to Vladimir on Feb 4′th 1238 and three days later, the capital was taken and burnt to the ground, setting the stage for 200 years of Mongol yokedom for Russia.Interesting that the Mongols preferred to attack from the east in autumn or in deep winter, when the best armies of the 19′th and 20′th centuries failed miserably to carry battle into the enemy’s ranks.Afghanistan will be won when the West attacks the Taliban in winter. Winter is when all fighting stops and the Taliban retreats into the villages and regroup for a spring and summer offensive. Winter is the time to strike, when the West has superior arms, superior equipment and is better prepared to fight a hard and brutal winter campaign. Time will tell if the lessons of the Mongol conquests are learnt by the followers of Clauswitz.

Posted by Contrarian | Report as abusive

Anjum says:”Every power has met its end in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union disappeared soon after losing in this hostile country. Looks like the US has its moment coming. Already its economy is struggling. Prolonged war in this region will consume it. So contrary to the belief and hope of some people on this forum, America can go broke if it does not succeed in its efforts to contain this region and control it. And it has not made an inch of progress over the past eight years in its attempt. One never knows. The US might decline after this war, just like Britain declined as a super power after WW II. Those who fly high, get hurt severely when they fall. Those who stay down, don’t have that problem.”–>Thank you again for your wonderful words of infinite wisdom. If the U.S. is so broke, perhaps they and the rest of the world should not have spent a single dollar to prop-up Pakistan. If they are so broke, may be they should quit giving money to Pakistan, don’t you think?What I think is hysterical, is the Pakistan is pretending to help the U.S., while it is using billions of U.S. Aid to fuel the Taliban in Afghanistan and undermine the U.S. mission. This is a definite fact and proof of this will eventually surface and Pakistan may find itself on the end of a very large and powerful American canon pointed at it. Afghan Taliban cannot survive without Pakistani help. It is not too late for Pakistan to change its ways, but time and again, bloggers here keep wanting to undermine the U.S. The U.S. votership is definitely in favor of a successful mission in Afghan. Technology will make it possible.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

“Every power has met its end in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union disappeared soon after losing in this hostile country” – Posted by mohammad AnjumThis is the biggest myth amongst Pakistanis. There’s no way in the world that the Soviet Union could have been defeated without American support. If it wasn’t for American arms, training & money, there’s a very good chance that Afghanistan & probably even Pakistan would be a USSR enslaved colony today.”America can go broke if it does not succeed in its efforts to contain this region and control it. The US might decline after this war, just like Britain declined as a super power after WW II” – Posted by mohammad AnjumSometimes I wonder: do the delusional Pakistanis ever read, hear or see anything other than the non-sense thrown at them by their army & mullahs. America is big & strong enough to fight 4 wars at a time. A few 100 billion out of a 14 trillion economy doesn’t make much difference. It seems that Pakistanis are hoping & praying that America & it’s allies withdraw from Af/Pak (due to the recession)& Pakistan can get back to playing it’s slimyy games & sponsoring terrorism against it’s neighbors & the west. I’m sorry to disappoint you but that’s not happening. What actually will happen is quite the opposite. Reports are coming out that the US will withdraw it’s troops from Iraq much sooner than the 16 month time line. Once that happens, the theater of war will completely shift to Afghanistan & even more so to Pakistan. Obama has realized that the epicenter of terror is Pakistan & in order to eliminate terror, Pakistan will have to be cleaned up. It’s just a matter of time!

Posted by brewer | Report as abusive

Contrarian says: “Afghanistan will be won when the West attacks the Taliban in winter. Winter is when all fighting stops and the Taliban retreats into the villages and regroup for a spring and summer offensive. Winter is the time to strike, when the West has superior arms, superior equipment and is better prepared to fight a hard and brutal winter campaign. Time will tell if the lessons of the Mongol conquests are learnt by the followers of Clauswitz.”Maybe that’s the reason Pakistan is suddenly talking about it’s continued contacts with top Taliban leadership and negotiation with Taliban so that there is a deal before winter sets in and Taliban can be saved to be used again in the future.

Posted by FS | Report as abusive

Keith:”And you can be damn sure that there’s no agency in Washington that does not stick those two countries in the same basket. That means, the policies and treatment will be virtually the same for both: more aid, but far more US action (in Afghanistan and if the PA proves unwilling than in Pakistan as well). Things are going to get really hot in a year or two.”Keith, Islamabad is no different, the road infront of ISI headquarters which was a main road is now barricaded and permanently blocked. Army chief’s motorcade is seen almost everyday moving between GHQ Rawalpindi and Islamabad. What ever you guys are upto in Washington, Islamabad is going to stay one step ahead and planning is already under way. I guess lot of policy formulations going all around, but what is sure is that you guys really need a chill pill.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s Hypocrisy on the TalibanSo if the Pakistani government and military have extensive evidence of India/Israel/US are backing Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Fazlullah:1. Why did they cut a deal with Sufi Mohammed, Fazlullah’s father-in-law and a known front man for the Taliban, this spring?2. Why are Pakistani officials currently seeking negotiations with Baitullah now?3. Why would a senior Pakistani generals describe Baitullah as “a patriot”when tensions between Indian and Pakistan flared late last year after the Mumbai assault?http://www.weeklystandard.com/we blogs/TWSFP/2009/07/pakistan_spreads_bla me_for_the.asp

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

A new low for PakistanAfter disowning 10 Pakistanis in Mumbai attacks, Pakistan Govt now disowns 10 arrested students in London scare.”Islamabad refused to sign any such document on the grounds that if anyone was deported for being a threat to UK’s national security he would be as much a threat to its security because Pakistan was a front-line state in the war against terrorism”http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/co nnect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/wor ld/13+bail+pleas+of+7+students+rejected+ in+britain-za-14

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

The meaning of unconditional aid for Pakistanis ..Aid to Pakistan should be unconditional: PMhttp://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.a sp?page=20097\30\story_30-7-2009_pg1_11P akistan looking beyond F-22 frigates: naval chiefhttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/56198ac4- 7d6b-11de-b8ee-00144feabdc0.html

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

And my Chinese colleague just told me ((Chinse news) that Chinsee are entering Afghanistan to wipe out some training camps that work to train anti-Chinese elements.It was not only Chinese arms in addition to ISI/CIA that helped Taliban and now Taliban and other allied militants are training Uighurs and Chinese are feeling the heat. So same story.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev,You said:”And my Chinese colleague just told me ((Chinse news) that Chinsee are entering Afghanistan to wipe out some training camps that work to train anti-Chinese elements.It was not only Chinese arms in addition to ISI/CIA that helped Taliban and now Taliban and other allied militants are training Uighurs and Chinese are feeling the heat. So same story.”–>Rajeev, the Chinese, have been fueling terrorsim against India and in some part turning a blind eye to it in the world. Now China is just waking up to the real threat within. All these years, trying to keep India “contained”. This same frankenstein monster that the Chinese directly or indirectly helped the Pak ARMY and ISI create, is now beginning to be the same monster that Pakistan quietly planted in China’s own backyard.I am quite disappointed that the Chinese, being such an ancient and wise culture would stoop to such a low activity and be oblivious of its own Karma it has created upon itself.The Uighers, will be crushed by by violent force by the Chinese Army, the same way the Chinese brutally massacred the innocent, unarmed peaceful Buddhist civilians this century. I am curious to see what Pakistan will do then and perhaps rest of the Islamic world. It is funny that India is made out to be such a demon, when it is inclusive of muslims.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

[...] the original: Pakistan: Now or Never? » Blog Archive » Afghanistan, Pakistan and … Share and [...]

@The Uighers, will be crushed by by violent force by the Chinese Army, the same way the Chinese brutally massacred the innocent, unarmed peaceful Buddhist civilians this century. I am curious to see what Pakistan will do then and perhaps rest of the Islamic world. It is funny that India is made out to be such a demon, when it is inclusive of muslims.- Posted by Global WatcherGlobal Watcher: Uighur problem is not crushable even by Chinese who have Islmaic nations, Al-Qaida and other Islamic fundmentalists to support them. Tibet Budhists do not have any Budhist nations supporting them. So Uighur problem is to stay for China and this time they used knife and will be hungry for automatic weapons from anyone. Pakistan is in an odd position. Feedback mechanism is working in China’s case too-China-Taliban-Uighur-China and in addition are sympathizers of Uighurs.Indian Muslims if you read their blogs do not fall prey to propaganda that other Muslims fall to. I have watched these blogs and see that majority of Indian Muslims think very differently. They also know the positive side of Indian society. So saying Muslim is not enough these days. The environment/culture plays a huge role in their thought process. So I pity those who are still stuck with 2 nation theory.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Mr. Global Watcher: “the Chinese, have been fueling terrorsim against India and in some part turning a blind eye to it in the world. Now China is just waking up to the real threat within. All these years, trying to keep India “contained”. This same frankenstein monster that the Chinese directly or indirectly helped the Pak ARMY and ISI create, is now beginning to be the same monster that Pakistan quietly planted in China’s own backyard.”You Indians ask Pakistanis to provide proof for our claims of India’s involvement in Balochistan. But when it comes to India, no one even thinks that they are blaming China in their North Eastern states without any proof. India has been holding these states with brute force. None of those people wanted to be a part of India. Some of those states have been seeking independence from India right from the time India won its independence. And like Balochistan, these states are rich in oil and other resources.China might be providing ammunition and training to the freedom fighters in those states. And India has done this in the past as well. It trained and armed the Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka, while playing victim when it came to Kashmir. So if the Chinese kindle unrest in NE India while try to quell the rebellion in their country at the same time, I see nothing immoral or unjustified. Every country has a fire hose on one hand and flame torch on the other. China and India are no different. And Pakistan is no different either. And China is wary of India’s overt support of the Dalai Lama and Tibet. The only difference is that India won’t mess with China. So no one will mention anything about China. But Pakistan is small in their eyes. So they feel they can bully Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan has grown beyond that. So diplomacy is the only path India has to deal with Pakistan. And we have out list of demands that need to be met before we can negotiate about peace.

@You Indians ask Pakistanis to provide proof for our claims of India’s involvement in Balochistan. But when it comes to India, no one even thinks that they are blaming China in their North Eastern states without any proof.”-Posted by mohammad AnjumMohammed Anjum: There is no stopping you from whining but let us focus for the moment on Af-Pak and related issues unless you want Myra pulling shutters down on the blog.@Unfortunately, Pakistan has grown beyond that. So diplomacy is the only path India has to deal with Pakistan. And we have out list of demands that need to be met before we can negotiate about peace.”–Could you enlighten Reuter posters about what kind of growth Pakistan achieved in any way. India always favored diplomacy until Pakistan forced wars. By Not waging war on Pakistan and through its No first use Nuclear policy India should be seen as non-aggressive and pro-peace? What’s up with Pakistan who regular attacked India, use terrorism as foreign policy tool, unwilling to have no first use N-policy against india— not very peace-loving, clearly.Did you ever wonder who can afford status quo–India. So go calculate.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Well if Pakistan is the prize then Europe should send more aid/weapons to Pakistan.

Why Pakistan needs Balochistan or China needs Xinjiang or Tibet?Punjabi army carried out all nuclear tests (5 so far) in Balochistan without any concern for public safety .. thousands of locals are daed and suffering consequences if radiation .. all local mines and refineries are leased to China … 10000 Chinese are working in Balochistan .. China needs an oil pipeline and highway from Balochistan to Tibet .. When Baluch locals ask for a job, they get a bullet from Chinese made AK-47 ..http://www.nowpublic.com/world/pakista ns-nukes-haunt-world-dc-meeting-29thChin ese regime carried out 46 surface nuclear tests from 1964 to 1996, causing 750,000 civilian deaths in surrounding areas .. looted mineral resources from the area .. locals who wanted jobs got bullets ..http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/conten t/view/14535/http://www.tibet.com/eco/gr een98/chap6.html

Posted by Buddhist | Report as abusive

Hey, mohammed Anjum,Why don’t you stop your ranting and provide SOLID, TANGIBLE PROOF? How do you know none of these people in the East wanted to be part of India, did you ask them?-These states are rich in oil and other resources.Its tea not oil in NE India!Pakistan has not grown at all. If it had, it would be able to stand on it own feet instead of BEGGING the world to hold up its economy using terrorism as leverage.Read this:Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has also come to Mr Singh’s aid by saying Pakistan has provided no credible evidence of Indian involvement in Baluchistan.(Sunday Times (UK), 31/07/2009)I suppose YOUR right, honorable, respectable Pakistani newspapers like Dawn forgot to report this for aesthetic reasons. Sure, when Pakistan provide RAW dossiers to India in full glare of the international media with all smiles, the Pakistani media are there to point it out to the rest of the world. However, thet cannot bring themselves to ‘accept’ the rejection.Now go and take care of your recovered child soldiers. Yuor Taliban probably got this idea of using them from the Moaists who have a long history of using child soldiers.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Pakistan will seek $2.5 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction of Malakand division from Friends of Democratic Pakistan at a meeting in Istanbul next week. (DAWN, 06/08/2009)This proves my previous point that Pakistan cannot stand on its own feet. If it could, it would not need to ask for more money.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Some Pakistanis are honest and Progressive!”While Pakistan failed in its delusionary policy of gaining strategic depth in Afghanistan, India is gaining broad and deep influence there. Investments of $1.6 billion and its dominance of every economic sector of Afghanistan will give India long lasting influence. And Pakistan’s Taliban proxies may not be a sufficient policy tool to balance Indian influence”"As a matter of fact, Indian economic influence in Afghanistan is surpassing the US?”Pakistan cannot undo what is already done but it can accept the incontrovertible situation and vie for its share through streamlining its own system and genuinely compete with Indians in providing goods and services”http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/de fault.asp?page=20098\12\story_12-8-2009_ pg3_3

Posted by Nora | Report as abusive

Nora:Thanks for the link. Very useful! Since the link was incomplete, I am posting the complete link:http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/defaul t.asp?page=2009%5C08%5C12%5Cstory_12-8-2 009_pg3_3

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

[...] were in Afghanistan.  At least one of the arguments put forward was the domino theory – that if Afghanistan were allowed to descend into chaos, Pakistan would follow.  So far there is no real sign of Washington resolving that conundrum – that its troops are [...]