Cross post from German Marshall Fund Pakistan’s China card

Posted on 28 June 2011.
Andrew Small is a Brussels-based Transatlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund’s Asia Program.
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan— For at least a handful of Chinese soldiers, the television footage of Abbottabad around the Osama bin Laden raid was familiar. In December 2006, the city was the site of an extensive set of joint Sino-Pakistani counterterrorism exercises. The “large-scale intelligence gathering,” “ambushes,” and “search and destroy missions” unfortunately failed to get anywhere near the world’s most wanted terrorist, who is believed to have set up house in this Pakistani garrison town earlier that year. Continue reading

PROSPECTS FOR PAKISTAN

Jonathan Paris

This Report analyses the prospects for Pakistan over a one to three year time horizon. It looks at economic, political, security, and bilateral issues. There are three possible scenarios for Pakistan over this relatively short time horizon; Pakistan probably will avoid becoming a “failed state” and is unlikely to find a “pathway to success” but, as Pakistan confronts a myriad of vexing challenges, the most likely scenario is that it will “muddle through”.

1. Economy

Looking at the economy optimistically, in just over 20 years, Pakistan will surpass Indonesia and become the fifth most populous country and the one with the most Muslims. Its youth bulge provides it with a baby boom which, if educated and employed, could provide its economy with a demographic dividend long after the equivalent bulges in China and India have aged and retired. Pakistan has an opportunity to leverage its domestic consumer market to attract multinationals and build up competitive economies of scale in industries like food, electronics, autos and engineering for the export market. Peace with India would turn Pakistan into an energy transit point and geographic hub for a possible South Asian boom. Continue reading

How Top Generals May Trap Obama in a Losing War By Tom Engelhardt

Front and center in the debate over the Afghan War these days are General Stanley “Stan” McChrystal, Afghan war commander, whose “classified, pre-decisional” and devastating report — almost eight years and at least $220 billion later, the war is a complete disaster — was conveniently, not to say suspiciously,leaked to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post by we-know-not-who at a particularly embarrassing moment for Barack Obama; Admiral Michael “Mike” Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has been increasingly vocal about a “deteriorating” war and the need for more American boots on the ground; and the president himself, who blitzed every TV show in sight last Sunday and Monday for his health reform program, but spent significant time expressing doubts about sending more American troops to Afghanistan. (“I’m not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan… or sending a message that America is here for the duration.”) Continue reading

India’s Maoist dilemma: the case of Lalgarh

For all the talk of ‘ failed state’ the article below makes an interesting reading and can serve as an eye opener. How truth can be hidden, distorted,sidelined, downplayed, bypassed…. and ( for Pakistan) how moutains can be made out of mole hill by constant badgering to the point that you start believing in the lies, distortions and exaggerations as truth.  Note the fact that one third of India has this insurgency.

Aaradhana Jhunjhunwala,   8 – 07 – 2009  on opendemocracy.net

The ongoing security crisis in West Bengal exposes the cracks in Indian democracy, stemming from a volatile mix of poor governance, petty politics, and a fundamental breakdown in credibility

A battle rages on in the Indian state of West Bengal, between Maoist guerillas called the Naxalites (Naxalbari is the name of a village in West Bengal where the movement was born in 1967) and national and paramilitary forces. The Naxalites, a banned outfit deemed as “a terrorist organization” by the central government, had proclaimed the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore district in Bengal, with its 44 villages, a “liberated zone” on 16 June 2009. Continue reading

The Toxic Gift: Iraq and AfPak

Paul Rogers

The problems faced by Barack Obama’s administration in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq owe much to George W Bush’s catastrophic legacy.
(This article was first published on 14 May 2009 in OpenDemocracy)

Barack Obama approaches the end of his fourth month in power with the full impact of the legacy of the George W Bush administration across the middle east and south Asia only now becoming clear. The dispute over the publication of over forty photos of maltreated prisoners of the United States held in an earlier period of the post-2001 “war on terror” – in which the president appears to have acceded to the wishes of the army – is but a small index of how inescapable and toxic is this legacy. Continue reading