Foreign Policy Blogs

Afghanistan and Pakistan

Today’s Washington Post is reporting that Obama’s promise didn’t even last 24 hours. According to the paper, Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen all three danced around the issue of withdrawal from Afghanistan while testifying in front of Armed Services Committee a day after the speech.

US Presidents have always struggled with the issue of withdrawing even when the writing on the wall is clear. Kennedy was forced to go ahead with a plan that later turned out to be awful. Lyndon Johnson kept escalating the Vietnam conflict even though in private he knew that the war is not going well and sending more troops is not the answer. And now Obama finds himself struggling with the same issue.

It is not easy, perhaps even possible for any president to make a decision that looks like ‘going soft on national security’ in American politics. So, in order to look tough, decisive and in control, it seems that Obama has gone ahead with a plan that he knows in his heart is flawed.

Like everyone else, I too am hopeful that Afghanistan would become stable because Pakistan’s security is directly linked to the situation in Afghanistan. However, regretfully, I don’t know how will the new policy announced by Obama would play out in the future for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Let’s hope for the best!



Bilal Qureshi

Bilal Qureshi is a resident of Washington, DC, so it is only natural that he is tremendously interested in politics. He is also fascinated by the relationship between Pakistan, the country of his birth, and the United States of America, his adopted homeland. Therefore, he makes every effort to read major newspapers in Pakistan and what is being said about Washington, while staying fully alert to the analysis and the news being reported in the American press about Pakistan. After finishing graduate school, he started using his free time to write to various papers in Pakistan in an effort to clarify whatever misconceptions he noticed in the press, especially about the United States. This pastime became a passion after his letters were published in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and his writing became more frequent and longer. Now, he is here, writing a blog about Pakistan managed by Foreign Policy Association.

Areas of Focus:
Taliban; US-Pakistan Relations; Culture and Society