Strikes and coercion will not help

News from the Pentagon is quite disturbing. Its obsession to bomb and destruct facilities suspected of ‘unbecoming activities’ has been the root cause of ill will. Washington’s trigger happy approach has not served the purpose, be it the Middle East, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

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Published: Mon 31 May 2010, 9:04 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:46 PM

Its solo activities based on concocted intelligence, coupled with a biased judgment, have bred discontent. It has furthered radicalism and brought in a trust deficit. If the vibes are to be believed, Pentagon is contemplating air strikes inside Pakistan and covert operations in the Middle East to net high value targets. And its utility and productivity are anybody’s guess. The region, which is already chaotic and instable, will perhaps be home to new adventures from the United States, apparently catering to armchair analysts’ conspiracy theories, at the expense of peace and security. Washington has been in this covert business for long, but without any credence at all.

According to reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post, the US is getting restless to go for the kill. Ostensibly, its goals are to build networks that could penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy militant groups like Al Qaeda. But what pains is the fact that US continues to harness the option of preparing for future attacks in many of the countries on unreasonable grounds. Surprisingly, Washington has the audacity to do so after its two unsuccessful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Baghdad and Kabul are no less than Waterloo, yet it believes that conquering other capitals would help! It seems in the guise of intelligence gathering in the region, its prime intention is to close in on Iran. That would be suicidal, to say the least. Iran cannot be dealt the Iraq way. Teheran can better be cultivated through sustained dialogue, rather than opt for quick fix solutions. That can serve as a convenient module of interaction with other countries with which the US has a problem. Volatility in the Middle East, instability in Afghanistan and the downslide in Pakistan are issues that Washington cannot ignore anymore. They do not have a gun-specific solution. The US has to put together its best brains and coordinate a rescue strategy that should speak for the aggrieved in totality.

It is difficult to believe what it is that compels the US military strategists to jump the gun. A disconnect between diplomacy and military option is very much evident. Very often, the high talk of finding a negotiated settlement of an issue is circumvented with jingoism. The ongoing strategic dialogue with Islamabad and pestering drone attacks have made the interstate relations a joke. Similarly, disequilibrium in policies is evident in the Middle East, where the US remains at odds both with hostile and friendly countries in the region. The most unfortunate aspect has been its quest to look for short-term solutions by ignoring or bypassing the fundamentals. This has neither delivered nor helped the world’s lone superpower in upholding its image as a peacemaker. Something real is amiss, and it’s high time the US found a way out of the self-inflicted quagmire.



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