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Editorial / Commentary / Opinion

 

 

 

Scott Sullivan : Obama must drop
Holbrooke's Pakistan plan





President Obama faces foreign policy disaster because he is continuing to support Richard Holbrooke's pro-Pakistan policies in Afghanistan and South Asia.

Holbrooke's critics see his pro-Iran /Pakistan plan as folly. Holbrooke's critics say the disadvantage of his plan is that it encourages Pakistani defiance of US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan itself. Also, Holbrooke's critics say that Iran and China are increasingly aligning with Pakistan against the US. Unfortunately, Iran will most likely continue to be a spoiler in South Asia, just as it is in the Middle East. Iran's misbehavior under Holbrooke's plan will create problems that will call for Obama's constant diplomatic intervention.

Obama should give preference to the Saudis and their connections to Pakistan, as opposed to favoring Iran. The US should also engage India as a military partner in the region, as opposed to excluding India, as Holbrooke's plan does. Finally, the US should consider placing the entire South Asia initiative under China, a traditional Friend of Pakistan.  In fact, Pakistan's press carries several reports that Pakistan's moderate Ismamists are encouraging Pakistan to turn to China as its number one partner, as opposed to the US. 

In sum, i nstead of Holbrooke's US-Pakistan-Iran Axis, which Iran would dominate, the US should opt for a Saudi-Pakistan-India-China Axis, which China and the US would dominate.

In contrast, Chinese leadership of a US-Pakistan-India Axis under these conditions will be virtually free of the need for Obama intervention because Iran the Spoiler will be excluded and unable to create problems.   Also, Obama should consider asking France and Russia to take the leading role on Iraq and the Middle East, while excluding Iran.  Obama can then focus on priority one, the economy.

 

 


 

Scott Sullivan is a former Washington government employee and was the Senior Advisor for International Economics at the Crisis Management Center of the National Security Council, 1984 - 1986. Petroleumworld not necessarily share these views.

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Petroleumworld News 12/20/2010


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