Afghanistan Essay

793 words - 4 pages

The study examines how the United States has come to deal with Afghanistan-Pakistan, a key foreign policy challenge for the Obama administration. It focuses on President Obama's new policy known as AfPak, the Kerry-Lugar Act, and other U.S. initiatives adopted since 2009 in order to help stabilize the situation in South Asia. The author concludes by arguing that the new initiatives will not substantially improve the situation in Pakistan, because they fail to address Pakistan's core problem: lack of strong democratic institutions.
Pakistan has many internal weaknesses undermining its ability to operate as a normal state. The global jihadi network seems to operate from the Pakistani city of ...view middle of the document...

The author argues that the American approach to Pakistan is fundamentally erroneous, as lack of political stability in Pakistan severely undermines the effectiveness of the military campaign against the Islamists and jihadists that operate within Pakistan and along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Pakistani terror groups may differ in their interests, base of operations, and so on, but they are united in their hatred of the United States and the Pakistani government, which they view as an "American puppet."
A key challenge for American decisionmakers concerning Pakistan is the topsy-turvy nature of Pakistani politics, where the police and the courts operate as tools of politicians' ambitions while the state system remains praetorian in nature, leading to chronic instability. Thus, although the "kill-ratio" (the number of insurgents killed on a daily and weekly basis) is rising, as drone attacks become more effective, what the international community fails to understand is that the more money it invests in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the more unstable these countries become. There is evidence that foreign aid ends up being used for unnecessary projects and programs, with the money rarely reaching the people and areas that need it the most. British journalist Jason Burke recounts that in the late 1990s, one could travel in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Khyber Agency, something that is no longer possible without an...

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