Obama’s Speech: ‘Servility’ Toward U.S. Has its Limits – The Nation, Pakistan
From what can be gleaned from editorials coming out of Pakistan today, President Obama’s long-awaited speech on his Afghanistan strategy has been anything but well received.
Chief among Islamabad’s concerns is that more U.S. troops in Afghanistan mean more militants will flee into Pakistan – particularly from Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, where British forces will soon get a big boost from the Americans.
Criticizing Obama’s ‘ridiculous claim’ that al-Qaeda is interested in Pakistan’s nuclear assets and demanding an end to drone attacks and better terms for continued cooperation with America, this editorial from Pakistan’s The Nation comments on Obama’s speech in part:
“For Pakistan the message was clear: there will be more destabilization as militants, escaping U.S. forces in areas bordering Pakistan, infiltrate our nation. The problem is further aggravated because of the refusal of the U.S. and NATO to adopt any defensive strategies to stem infiltration across the porous Pakistan-Afghan border. Pakistan has suggested mining the border, fencing it, more U.S. and NATO checkpoints, and so on; but for reasons that defy all logic, these proposals have been rejected.
“Another problem for Pakistan is Obama’s ridiculous claim that al-Qaeda is after Pakistan’s nuclear assets. The war they wage doesn’t require nuclear weapons. Rather, it is certainly the U.S. which is targeting these assets. Ironically, Obama has admitted that without Pakistan, America’s strategy for Afghanistan is a non-starter. U.S. despair regarding the Afghan War was clearly reflected in Obama’s speech. It’s time for Pakistan to renegotiate its cooperation and demand better terms for continuing as a front-line state for America.”
December 2, 2009
Pakistan – The Nation – Original Article (English)
PRESIDENT Obama’s much-awaited policy on Afghanistan commences with more of a whimper than a bang. That’s appropriate, because Obama appears to have opted with the old Bush policy, while at the same time, giving it a more realistic hue. Instead of grandiose expectations of military victory and the construction of a new Afghan nation, it’s clear that America now seeks an honorable exit within eighteen months. The will obviously involve putting pressure on all sides to come to the table and make possible a situation that allows such a face-saving U.S. exit. This is why there’s talk of whittling away Taliban support by providing jobs and incentives for local people.
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