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nuclear games-US style « Previous | |Next »
March 10, 2006

I'm not all that comfortable with the results of Bush tour of India and Pakistan:

Monte Wolverton

India has not even signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but the US has, and in doing so it's agreed to not help any other countries in their nuclear-weapons prgramme.

Bush's tour indicates that the US now regards India as a key partner in its regional security interests, not least because India is seen as a powerful counterforce to the growth of Chinese influence. Presumably, the Bush administration is aware that good relations with India will cause internal problems for the regime of President Pervez Musharraf, but it considers that benefits of having India on side outweighs any negative effects this will have in Pakistan. So Pakistan plays another card--an alliance with China and Russia.

I'm uneasy because things are getting real messy on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. The Taliban units inside Afghanistan are building their supplies to take the offensive on a large scale inside Afghanistan. To do this they require safe access to and from Pakistan. Musharraf is under considerable pressure from Washington to sustain military activity on the Pakistani side of the border; yet the more he does this, the more he is likely to provoke local antagonism to his regime.

The pro-American Musharraf regime is caught in a trap and is being squeezed. Either General Pervez Musharraf plays along with a Taliban plan for access into Afghanistan, or he comes down firmly on the side of the US. Neither option offers much respite from the pressures mounting against the regime.

Are not Muslims coming out in large numbers to protest against US policies in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in both India and Pakistan. How long will the Musharraf regime last? What happens if it falls? An Islamist regime takes its place, one connected to Iran? Has the Bush administration factored the consequences of this into its great state politics?

What does all this mean for Australia. Our troops are currently helping the US fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. This is an unstable region. I cannot see that it is Australia's national interest to be involved in a civil war in Afghanistan.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:22 AM | | Comments (0)