U.S. key to curbing terror in South Asia: Experts

December 1st, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

New York, Dec.1 (ANI): Senior media persons and experts in the United States are of the view that now more than ever, the United States can play a unique role in helping South Asian countries combat terrorism.
But they add that these countries need to look beyond their own national security.
Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, who appeared with other noted political authors on CBS” Face The Nation, said: “What’’s happening now is, the problems of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India are bleeding into one another.
What you have is a kind of South Asian terrorism, where these groups are feeding off each other, finding pockets where they can train in lawless parts of the country,” he added.
“The Pakistani military used to feel the good militants are the ones that destabilize India and Afghanistan, which is good for Pakistan, and the bad ones are the ones that kill Pakistani citizens. The problem is they”re all blurring into one another,” he said.
Investigative reporter Jane Mayer, the author of “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals”, said contrary to the Bush-Cheney administration, Obama is dividing his national security portfolio rather than giving it over to the vice president, as President Bush did.
“Obama so far seems to be so much more involved in the details and in kind of wanting to command the policies all the way up and down,” she said.
“And the secretary of state is also a lawyer now,” she added, referring to Obama’’s selection of Senator Hillary Clinton. “These people respect the law, I think.”
Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward concurred that the new administration will represent “a whole new center of gravity for the news media, for the world.”
Calling Obama’’s national security team “amazing,” he likened it to Goldilocks and the Three Bears: “You”ve got ”too cool,” which might be - or at least ”appropriately cool” - General Jones as the national security adviser; Gates is kind of ”just right,” in the middle; and Hillary Clinton, ”hot.””
Referring to Obama’’s pick of Hillary, Woodward said that Obama’’s choice reflects, perhaps, the notion that because the deep economic crisis will require so much of his time, “go ahead and give Hillary and Bill the world.”
Zakaria said that while Hillary may “get the world,” and she will certainly be doing her share of traveling, the appointment of Marine General James L. Jones (a former NATO commander, aide to Defense Secretary Bill Cohen, and critic of Rumsfeld’’s handling of the Pentagon) as National Security Adviser “suggests that Iraq and Afghanistan will be managed out of the White House.”
In addition to foreign policy, the standing of America abroad due to the election of Barack Obama will mark a sea change, said Michael Eric Dyson, the author of “April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.s Death and How It Changed America” . Dyson said the wounds of civil right battles do not blemish Obama when he talks about race.
“I think that gives him a kind of moral purchase in the broader world,” he said. (ANI)

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