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  #1  
Old 07-28-2008, 08:44 PM
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The China Card

During the Cold War Nixon's one major foreign policy achievement was in driving a wedge between China and the USSR. Once started, that fissure enlarged massively and almost resulted in a hot war along the border between Mongolia SSR and China. Every president since Nixon used China and the USSR as leverage against each other and it was called, "playing the China Card".

I think we're doing the same deal with India & Pakistan. I copied this from the BBC. the pattern is strikingly similar to me.

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US and Pakistan stress close ties
BBC

The US still considers Pakistan a key ally in its "war on terror", President George W Bush has told visiting Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani. After talks, Mr Bush said Mr Gilani had made a strong commitment to securing Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. The issue has caused strain in recent months, with the US urging Pakistan to move against Islamic militants.

The talks came as a top al-Qaeda figure was reported to have been killed in a missile strike in the border area. Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, a leading chemical weapons expert who the US says trained militants in Afghanistan, was reportedly killed along with six others in South Waziristan in a strike on Monday. It was suspected to be a strike by US forces, but this has not been confirmed. US and Afghan officials say Taleban and al-Qaeda militants have established their strongholds on Pakistan's western border from where they carry out attacks into Afghanistan.

Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar has been reported killed before
The US has recently expressed misgivings about Pakistan's handling of Islamic militancy in the area, while Pakistan has complained that attacks inside its borders could bilateral relations. On his first trip to Washington since taking power in February's elections, Mr Gilani used the meeting to tell Mr Bush that his country was committed to fighting extremists. "We talked about the common threat we faced, extremists who are very dangerous people," Mr Bush told reporters during a break in his talks with Mr Gilani.

Missile attacks
On the issue of US missile attacks targeting militants on the Pakistani side of the border, Mr Bush said: "The US respects the sovereignty" of Pakistan.
Mr Gilani stressed Pakistan's desire to improve relations with Washington.
He was also expected to meet the Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls, Barack Obama and John McCain.

Despite Mr Bush's public praise, it was expected that Mr Gilani would hear some tough words in Washington, the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Washington reports. The Pakistani prime minister is also scheduled to meet senior US officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

In recent months the US and its allies have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in military and other forms of assistance to help Pakistan's new government tackle militancy in border areas. Earlier this month, Mr Gates said he was considering sending additional troops to Afghanistan to counter the flow of insurgents from Pakistan. Washington has also said it is concerned about peace deals that Islamabad has been signing with some of the radical groups in its western tribal-dominated areas.

Warning
The Pakistani government says the peace deals will bring stability to the volatile regions. But Washington argues this gives the militants too much room to manoeuvre and increases the threat to Nato troops across the border.

US military commanders have warned that if there is ever another attack against the US, it will be planned in those areas. But there will be statements of support - and possibly action - to back them as the US seems keen to encourage the fragile transition from military to civilian rule in Islamabad, our correspondent says.

Last week, President Bush announced that he wanted to allow Pakistan to upgrade its F-16 fighter jets by using two-thirds of the annual counter-terrorism aid it gets from the US. But the US Congress has criticised the move, saying the jets are not essential to the fight against the militants in the tribal areas.

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Old 07-29-2008, 09:23 AM
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Maybe. I'm too young to know anything about the Nixon and China but I think that US attempts to effect any positive changes in Pakistan might well blow up in our faces.

- Peter.
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2008, 11:33 AM
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I would withhold all military aid to Pakistan. Results should be rewarded. Playing on both sides of the fence should not be tolerated. It's difficult to conceived Pakistan's "wild west" is being pacified.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 450slcguy View Post
I would withhold all military aid to Pakistan. Results should be rewarded. Playing on both sides of the fence should not be tolerated. It's difficult to conceived Pakistan's "wild west" is being pacified.
Sounds logical. However thats not taking into account the fact that by withholding aid you will likely simply result in them procuring that aid elsewhere. If the government does really clamp down on the north west frontier you risk turing the resistance into a full fledged civil war and you now have another crisis on your hands.

- Peter.
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2008, 12:25 PM
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4420760.ece
Pakistan warns US over 'unilateral' missile strikes on its soil(AP)

Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent
Tensions between Pakistan and the United States came to the fore last night when Yousuf Raza Gilani, the new Pakistani Prime Minister, met President Bush and warned him not to launch "unilateral" strikes on Pakistani soil.

The meeting came just hours after Pakistani security officials said that a suspected US missile strike on a village in Pakistan's northern tribal areas might have killed an al-Qaeda chemical and biological weapons expert.

Mr Gilani, who has been under pressure to do more to combat al-Qaeda and Taleban militants in Pakistan, told reporters after his meeting at the White House that Pakistan was committed to fighting extremists.

"We are committed to fight against those extremists and terrorists who are destroying and making the world not safe," he said.

He went further in an interview with CNN a few hours later, when he was asked about the suspected US missile strike earlier in the day.

Mr Gilani said he had told Mr Bush that "unilaterally it should not be done".

If the missile strike was proven to have been a US operation, it would be a violation of Pakistani sovereignty, he said.

"Basically Americans are a little impatient. Therefore in the future I think we'll have more co-operation on the intelligence side and we'll do the job ourselves," he said.

Pakistan has been a key US ally in the War on Terror ever since the September 11, 2001 attacks and has received an estimated $10 billion in mostly military aid in return over the last six years.

But Mr Gilani's remarks revealed the growing tension between Islamabad and Washington over how to tackle the militants, many of whom have been sheltering in northern Pakistan since being driven out of Afghanistan by a US-led invasion in late 2001.

Concerned about mounting Nato casualties in Afghanistan, the United States has been pressing Pakistan for months to take more direct action to prevent the militants from making incursions over the Afghan border.

But Pakistan is reluctant to anger its mostly Muslim population and to complicate relations with the independence-minded Pashtun tribesmen who populate the frontier with Afghanistan.

Since coming to power in February elections, the new Pakistani government has negotiated ceasefire agreements with the militants that US officials fear will only give them time to regroup.

So in recent months, the United States has increased the frequency of its missile attacks on militant targets in Pakistan -- many of them using unmanned Predator drones.

Most have been with the tacit permission of Islamabad, but Pakistani officials complain that several have been conducted without their prior knowledge.
Ties were further strained by a US airstrike last month that killed 11 Pakistani border troops.

Mr Bush stressed after his meeting with Mr Gilani that the United States respected Pakistan's sovereignty.

"The US, I repeat, respects the sovereignty of this democracy. And we also appreciate the Prime Minister's strong words against the extremists and terrorists who not only would do us harm but have harmed people inside, in Pakistan," Mr Bush said.

Mr Bush called Pakistan a "strong ally" and said he had received a "strong commitment" from Mr Gilani that Pakistan would try "as best as possible" to prevent militants from crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistani security officials were still trying to check reports that the suspected U.S. missile strike had killed Abu Khabab al-Masri, also known as Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar.

Al-Madri was a 55-year-old Egyptian chemist regarded as one of al-Qaeda's top bomb makers and had a $5 million bounty on his head. Similar reports in 2006 turned out to be unfounded.

The two faces of foreign relations:
There's in front of the camera and there's behind the scenes.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
Sounds logical. However thats not taking into account the fact that by withholding aid you will likely simply result in them procuring that aid elsewhere. If the government does really clamp down on the north west frontier you risk turing the resistance into a full fledged civil war and you now have another crisis on your hands.

- Peter.
Also, a brief review of geography will remind us that access to Afghanistan is gained by passage through Pakistan. The USA armed forces alone has over 20K in Afghanistan. Let's all imagine the logistical nightmare should relations with Pakistan deteriorate.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:09 PM
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India?

Where does India fit into the picture?
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:10 PM
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Where does India fit into the picture?
Remember the nuke deal with India that Bush championed?
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Remember the nuke deal with India that Bush championed?
yeah, I just don't understand all of the implications.

India and Pakistan don't necessarily play nicely with each other. Both have nuclear capabilities. We need Pakistan's help with Afghanistan (actually, I'm not sure we do, but we're asking for it) and are allies with both India and Pakistan. Could we potentially offer Pakistan the same type of deals, etc. that we have with India (maintain some sort of parity)? Conditioned upon support in Afghanistan?
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sd300td View Post
yeah, I just don't understand all of the implications.

India and Pakistan don't necessarily play nicely with each other. Both have nuclear capabilities. We need Pakistan's help with Afghanistan (actually, I'm not sure we do, but we're asking for it) and are allies with both India and Pakistan. Could we potentially offer Pakistan the same type of deals, etc. that we have with India (maintain some sort of parity)? Conditioned upon support in Afghanistan?
Play one off against the other to get the most from each.

B
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:51 AM
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It hasn't worked in past, it won't work now. All attempts by Pakistan to do any serious damage has gone to waste. What would happen now is that the positive public opinion along with trade and other economic deals with US and India would all go down the toilet in case Pakistan decides to get adventurous with the upgraded F-16s. The nuclear deal with India actually has no bearing, India is ahead of Pakistan in that field, India had nukes since 1972. Pakistan relies on China for its current technology, nukes or otherwise, politically and economically its spent and in no way close to India in either sense. Only China can be played against India but in that case USSR would see it as an opportunity to make its cause.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:55 AM
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I doubt if anybody wants eitehr Pakistan or India to do any actual damage -- that's not how the game is played when played properly. Rather, it is using each as a tool to leverage a position a little bit.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:06 AM
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The problem is not with India, it has its own issues to work with, past history has shown that every time there is internal problems in Pakistan, it turns to some real misadventures as in 65 and 71 and recently Kargil to divert the minds of its population from the real issues, it has suffered humiliating and crushing defeats even with SOA US hardware and yet the dangerous trend continues. Even its proxy war vis a vis Kashmir has failed and now it looks at other avenues.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gurkha View Post
The problem is not with India, it has its own issues to work with, past history has shown that every time there is internal problems in Pakistan, it turns to some real misadventures as in 65 and 71 and recently Kargil to divert the minds of its population from the real issues, it has suffered humiliating and crushing defeats even with SOA US hardware and yet the dangerous trend continues. Even its proxy war vis a vis Kashmir has failed and now it looks at other avenues.
Of course it's not with India. Just ask anybody of Indian descent.

B

PS I actually agree with you more than you might think, but not for the reasons you mention. India is committed to democracy and equal justice for all. It has a long way to go but has made tremendous strides. Supporting India can do nothing but strengthen the most populous democracy on Earth.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:52 AM
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The question is not of descent, the question is Pakistan's extremely poor record of warmongering and instability and the chances of the nuke loaded F-16 landing in the wrong hands is a very near possibility.

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