Is Obama turning into a Narasimha Rao?

December 12th, 2008 - 4:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

New Delhi, Dec.12 (ANI): Remember the uproar that Barack Obama caused when in August 2007 he said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won”t act, we will.”
Cut now to his answer last Sunday to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press. When asked whether India had the right of “hot pursuit” to go after terrorists in Pakistan. Obama’’s response, “I”m not going to comment on that. What, what I”m going to restate is a basic principle. Number one, if a country is attacked, it has the right to defend itself. I think that’’s universally acknowledged.”
What happened? Has the US president-elect already lost the plot? Has he gone soft even before he has taken oath? Where is the fire and brimstone that one saw during the long campaign months? Where is that resolute determination to crush terror at its epicentre? Has president-elect Obama turned into another Narasimha Rao?
He was that head of government who just waited and watched terror consuming India’’s largest state….just hoping that things would kind of settle down after a few dozen lives were lost. The master of inaction.
Clearly the current US administration is going into overdrive to ensure that a war doesn”t erupt between India and Pakistan.
No sensible state wants a war. The last thing that the Republican administration would want is to leave behind a legacy of not being able to prevent an India-Pakistan war.
But the first big foreign policy challenge that Barack Obama will face is Pakistan and how to deal with what former US Secretary of Sstate Madeleine Albright recently termed as an ”international migraine”.
And a wishy-washy Narasimha Rao like statement that Obama gave Brokaw just does not give the right signal to the world, and more importantly, to India which seems like it is ready to give up its decades-old suspicion of sharing intelligence with the US.
It is not that Obama is not well briefed about what is happening in this region. Thomas Fingar, the retiring chairman of the National Intelligence Council who has been briefing the president-elect six days a week recently said, “Pakistan may be one of the single most challenging places on the planet,”
One hopes that is what he told the 44th president to be.
Another Obama aide, Bruce Reidel of the RAND corporation, had ten years ago called Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world. A ticking time bomb. And recently, he said: “All of the nightmares of the 21st century come together in Pakistan: nuclear proliferation, drug smuggling, military dictatorship, and above all, international terrorism.”
He recently wrote:”For the next American president, there is no issue or country more critical to get right.”
Quite famously Obama said that he does not want an administration filled with yes men, perhaps referring disparagingly to the current administration. But the team he takes into his White House seem to all have one view, tackle Pakistan correctly or it will explode on every one’’s faces…even the US’’s. (ANI)

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