mike mullen

Holbrooke: We Won't Press India for Peace with Pakistan

U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and Admiral Mullen "took pains to make it clear" the US would not press India to negotiate with Pakistan on sensitive issues, AP reports:

"We did not come here to ask the Indians for anything," Holbrooke said. "We were not there, I repeat, we were not there, to negotiate Pakistani-Indian relations."

I hope, for the sake of U.S. troops and the people of Afghanistan, that Holbrooke was lying.

Because if Holbrooke was telling the truth, the American people deserve an explanation.

Recently U.S. officials have been saying more and more openly what they previously only hinted at: the U.S. problem with the Pakistani government is not merely that the Pakistani government "isn't committed" to dealing with the fact that Afghan insurgents have sanctuaries in Pakistan; parts of the Pakistani state apparatus are, allegedly, actively supporting insurgent groups. And they're doing this, according to US officials cited in press reports, because they believe that it serves their interests to do so in their long confrontation with India.

Therefore, it would seem blindingly obvious, and people in and around the Obama administration have indicated that they understand this, that if you want to achieve a lasting political resolution to Afghanistan's problems, you ought to try to address Pakistan's motivations for supporting insurgents in Afghanistan and to address their security concerns with respect to India. In other words, you ought to try to promote India-Pakistan peace, and that includes supporting efforts to resolve the problem of Kashmir.