Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What to do about Pakistan?

Of the many thought-provoking pieces on yesterday's atrocity, we see Melanie Phillips tell us that it "highlights the intimate connection between the two in a web of terror that spans the world."

Michael Burleigh tells us Pakistan presents a terrifying threat to world stability far greater than Iraq or Afghanistan, and The Daily Telegraph says, "It is no use blaming outsiders: the canker is within. Pakistan needs to wake up."

We have a direct interest as well as the broader strategic interest. What happens (or does not happen) in Pakistan directly impacts on the campaign in Afghanistan. To that extent, it is an Afg/Pak problem rather than an Afghani problem. Can one be solved without the other? Many doubt it.

Could stability in Afghanistan serve as a beacon for Pakistan, illustrating what can be achieved, or will the campaign in Afghanistan necessarily fail unless we also deal with Pakistan. And, short of invading that country as well, what can we do?