Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rubin: Interview with me by Globe and Mail

Graeme Smith, the Kandahar correspondent for the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, has published a print, audio and video interview with me. The print version is focused on "Afghanization," but the whole interview is much broader. I can't figure out how to embed the video, but you can play it here.


Anonymous said...

"What might set this effort apart from the previous failures is the current efforts at opening negotiations with the Taliban and regional players to find a political settlement, Dr. Rubin said. But those talks won't be easy, he added, because violence will always remain tempting.

"Unfortunately, due to the poverty of Afghanistan and the weakness of its government, it's relatively easy and cheap to destabilize it."

Hope Mr. Rubin also emphasizes a particular pathology of the 'regional player' Pakistan the facts of which he himself recorded in one or more of his books on Afghanistan. Namely, the pathology of Pakistan to sabotage with continuation of military action by its clients, all political compromises in Afghanistan which do not achieve Pakistan's military goal of granting their clients absolute control over that country.

Pakistan has always tried to achieve through negotiations, a military victory over its contenders for power in Kabul. Hence Pakistan sabotages all such compromises which do not grant it such absolute military victory.

This situation has occured in Afghanistan multiple times since 1988, namely political compromises were sabotaged by continuation of Pakistani Army backed war against the compromising factions - the post Soviet govt in 1988, the post Najibullah govt in 1992, and multiple post mujahiddeen Taliban-NA compromise attempts in 1997-99.

The lesson of the last 20 years is thus that only a decisive military defeat of the Pak Army will put an end to its "endless war" pathology and succeed in bringing peace in the region, whether in Afghanistan or in J&K. Half measures simply will not work.

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