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 Well it seems that Americans misfortunes are far from over, both in terms of ongoing economical crisis and the “war against terror”. Obama just unveiled his much anticipated “ AFPAK” policy. This had captured centre stage for many reason, but most importantly because


a)      For US, things have turned from bad to worse in Afghanistan lately

b)      Many in states hold this opinion that next 9/11, if God forbid it happens, will be from Pakistan’s tribal areas

c)      Both Afghanistan and Pakistan may, for an instance, hold the key to the most surprised developments in US history, if things don’t  get settled here soon.


Having said this, at the end of the speech Obama seemed as confused, as any one else listening to him anywhere around the world. For the whole half an hour, he failed to make us realize, whether he was announcing an offensive policy or it was a retreat call( more like what Bush sounded in 2004 “END OF WAR IN IRAQ” speech”.

            The policy, although new, is stuck between two pillars. One is massive response to insurgency, and the later is winning heart and mind. The third, although not clear, but the way he propagated immediate troops training for Afghanistan, sounded as a tactical withdrawal in the air.

          Just a few months back when Karzai was all out to offend US by hosting Mullah Omar, US also gave mixed signals of hosting talks with Taliban. But the new guide line is far from what we thought from the Obama administration, Carrot & Stick working at the same time have never been successful. Stuck between whether to kill or rebuild lands you at the same place, where Musharaff found him during his offensive in Tribal areas. For Pakistan, the main question still remained its sovereignity in the eyes of Americans( ofcourse in the pretext of drone attacks), but this $1.5 billion aid is nothing, and no more than what we were getting out of Bush. Where all thesis have come to a conclusion that without Taliban involved actively, Afghan peace is a far cry, Obama is still counting on Petreaus policy of surge to work as it did in Iraq. But the core is, in Iraq it was a guarantee given to Iranians by US of a “ graceful departure” or defeat by 2011 which solved the issue, as long as they do not engage Talibans, this year could sound the end of US honeymoon in Afghanistan as well as to the “great game” of Central Asia.

            From my side, I only foresee a Soviet style peace accord in Geneva, this time between US and Taliban somewhere in November or December this year. If this is in the mind of US as Obama revealed


Hamid Majid Abbasi




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