Pakistan: Now or Never?

Too much fighting, not enough talking?

May 12, 2009

David Kilcullen knows a thing or two about counter-insurgency.

A former lieutenant-colonel in the Australian army and a senior adviser to U.S. General David Petraeus, he helped shape the “surge” policy that is widely credited with pulling Iraq back from the brink of chaos. He has just written a book entitled “The Accidental Guerrilla: fighting small wars in the midst of a big one” which closely examines insurgencies from Thailand and Indonesia to Afghanistan and Iraq, including what it takes to contain and quell them.

Americans vote for Afghan troop surge, but Afghans differ

February 26, 2009

An overwhelming majority of Americans support President Barack Obama’s decision to deploy an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, according to a Gallup poll this week. It said 65 percent approved the measure, with support among Republicans hitting 75 percent, making it one of the rare policy decisions where a president gets greater backing from those who identify with an opposing political party than his own.

Pakistan and its nuclear weapons loom large over Obama administration

January 11, 2009

Pakistan and its nuclear weapons are back in the centre  of the U.S. foreign policy frame as a steady stream of reports from think tanks and newspapers build the case for President-elect Barack Obama to recognise and act urgently with regard to the potential threat from the troubled state.

Pakistan and those shoes

December 17, 2008

It seems that everyone is talking about shoes these days, so much so that I expect the expression “to throw a shoe” will soon acquire a meaning far broader than the original incident.

According to The News in a report from Rawalpindi, “the episode of hurling shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush remained talk of the town, as people belonging to different walks of life expressed their extreme excitement over the incident and praised the ‘brave act’ of the Iraqi journalist. ‘The News’ interviewed a number of people who were all praise for Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi…” it said.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and the decline of American power

October 18, 2008

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange/Brendan McDermidDoes the financial crisis mark the beginning of the end of American global dominance? And if so, what would the decline of American power mean for Afghanistan and Pakistan? It’s early days yet, but here are a few themes that are emerging from the maelstrom.

Update on Pakistan’s peace deal : will it work?

April 27, 2008

Update – Since filing this blog,  Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has said he is pulling out of the peace deal with the government after it refused to withdraw the army from tribal lands on the Afghan border. So were the sceptics right all along? And what does this mean for the government’s new strategy?

Pakistan more dangerous than Iraq ?

April 18, 2008

A Pakistani soldier guards a military post at a mountain peak in Swat districtThe United States, beginning with President George W. Bush himself, has this past two weeks trained its crosshairs on Pakistan, warning that another Sept. 11,  if it were to happen, would most likely not be plotted out of Iraq, Afghanistan or even Iran,  but Pakistan.