Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Off-Topic: Ahmed Rashid on Fresh Air

Here is an excellent Fresh Air interview with Ahmed Rashid on the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is very good and he certainly knows a lot about Taliban (he was writing about them way before 2001). Here he lays out the complexities quite nicely. At the mid-way point, he makes an interesting point about US missile strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas: he says that because these strikes have been successful in taking out some key targets, many of the Taliban leaders are now moving into the settled areas of Pakistan, including major cities.

Oh boy. So will there be a US missile strike, say on Peshawar or Quetta? This is something that the US must be evaluating. This is not so far-fetched either - but it will likely stir up nationalism that may end up serving the Taliban.

However, its good to see that Ahmed Rashid is optimistic about the direction of Obama policies. Lets hope he is right about the direction of the new policies. Here is Rashid's new book, Descent into Chaos.