Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rubin: Senate Democrats Call for New Policies on Afghanistan, Pakistan

On Monday (April 6), all but three members of the Senate Democratic Caucus (which I guess still includes Joe Lieberman) signed a letter to President Bush calling on him to "refocus" U.S. counter-terrorism strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan:
On Afghanistan they provide the now familiar evidence of the low priority the administration assigns to this region, relying mainly on the administration's own officials and the report of the Afghanistan Study Group. The letter calls on the President to follow the report's recommendation to "decouple" Iraq and Afghanistan in both funding and diplomacy. (I would extend this recommendation to scholars and researchers studying "post-conflict" operations, "nation-building," "humanitarian intervention," or anything else except the ideology and practice of the Bush administration.) The letter also reiterates the charge that the administration has not implemented its own rhetoric for a "Marshall Plan."

The letter observes that the leadership of al-Qaida is now "most likely in the sanctuary of Pakistani territory near the Afghan border," citing that hotbed of partisan distortion, the CIA (NIE on homeland security). Their recommendations on Pakistan, while passing over specific proposals such as the new government's plan to integrate the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies into Pakistan's polity, recognizes that there is no tradeoff between security and principle in Pakistan:

The whole letter is here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suppose it is beyond hope that we could simply try for peace, and get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and leave Pakistan alone other than offering peaceful assistance to all. We only think in terms of war and more war. Shameful.