April 22, 2009

JUST STAY IN THE CABANA, SON:

Kerry: Administration lacks 'real strategy' for handling Pakistan (Ken Dilanian, 4/22/09, USA TODAY)

Just back from a visit to Pakistan, Sen. John Kerry says the Obama administration's plan for that volatile country, rolled out last month with great fanfare, "is not a real strategy."

"Pakistan is in a moment of peril," Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said during a session with USA TODAY reporters and editors. "And I believe there is not in place yet an adequate policy or plan to deal with it."

In an interview after the session, Kerry advised the Obama administration to stop using the term "Af-Pak," to describe a unified strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, because "I think it does a disservice to both countries and to the policy. The two governments, he said, are "very sensitive to it" and "don't see the linkage." [...]

Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said the United States must have a unified strategy for both countries, which share a mountainous border region that is a hotbed of Taliban and al-Qaeda activity.


Painful as it is to say, Mr. Holbrooke is obviously right on that bit and the idea that you wouldn't pursue a strategy in the region because Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have failed to deal with the problem, don't like your terminology is just silly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2009 9:27 AM
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