|U.S. machinations on radicalism in Pakistan||
Amid the heated foreign policy debates over the past few weeks between U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Brookings Institution senior fellow Bruce Riedel has advised the presidential candidates to “forget Benghazi and focus on Pakistan,” which he says “is the most dangerous country in the world.”
However, Riedel, who was formerly a CIA official, seems to have exaggerated his rhetoric on Pakistan, which is a normal country that itself is the victim of extremism and terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Thus, Pakistan should not be described as a threat to world peace and global security.
Many U.S. officials have made a career out of taking advantage of crises and security threats in other countries. And the concentration of terrorist groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas gives U.S. policy wonks the opportunity to accuse Pakistan of helping terrorists and extremists. This manipulative approach is expected to be pursued by the White House over the next four years by whoever becomes president, and there will definitely be no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on this issue.
The elevation of the threat emanating from Pakistan by the U.S. foreign policy apparatus will not necessarily lead to a new military conflict in the region. The U.S. is expected to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 2014 and any new military adventure would seriously sully the United States’ image in the international community. Moreover, the U.S. and Pakistani governments enjoy a high level of security cooperation, although they have had many ups and downs in their relationship over the past few years.
In light of all this, it can be said that the heated rhetoric on the security situation in Pakistan is a major component of the United States’ manipulative approach to radicalism in the country.
MP Nowzar Shafiei is a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Majlis (Parliament).
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