Thursday, 30 April 2009
Adrian Hamilton: Demonising Pakistan will not solve Afghanistan
It's gang up on Pakistan time.The US Secretary of State, Mrs Clinton, has declared it "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world" and now Gordon Brown has joined the party, flying to Kabul and Islamabad to show that he too regards the two neighbours as one region and making that the centrepiece of his so-called "new" Afghan policy in the Commons yesterday. There was, he claimed, a "chain of terror" stretching from the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan to the capitals of the world.
If this reminds you of the language of the Raj, when the North-West Frontier obsessed our administrators and took up a disproportionate part of our military resources, so it should. Just as the British failed to control the area in Victorian times, so we are back in the same exercise again, only this time we're demanding that the Pakistanis act as the redcoats bringing order to the wild tribal lands. Now leave aside the question of whether this really does amount to a new strategy and whether Brown needed to use up his carbon allowance by flying for the day to the region. It's his headlong rush to join up with the US Af-Pak approach, however, that is so worrying.
Read the full article here.