May his tribe increase
Larry Pressler’s famous amendment did more than keep those F-16s out of Pakistan’s nuclear reach. It constantly reminded American policymakers (and media) about the developing danger in Pakistan. The Pressler amendment, along with the sanctions imposed after the 1998 nuclear tests, remains the only meaningful measure the United States ever took to publicly and transparently take Pakistan to task for its nuclear transgressions.
Even as the Bush administration has all but set aside his amendment, Pressler makes a powerful case in favour of a strong pro-India foreign policy. (via tdaxp)
Yes, during the cold war India often sided with the Soviet Union while Pakistan went with the United States. Some old hands at the Pentagon still seem to think we should be rewarding Pakistan for that. But the cold war is long over. We have given the Pakistanis their due many times over…
Our military-industrial complex, which I believe dominates our foreign policy, favors Pakistan not only because we can sell it arms, but also because the Pentagon would often rather deal with dictatorships than democracies. When a top Pentagon official goes to Pakistan, he can meet with one general and get everything settled. On the other hand, if he goes to India, he has to talk to the prime minister, the Parliament, the courts and, God forbid, the free press…
We should also make it clear that we will favor India in all major regional disputes. Without American support, Pakistan would be forced to drop its claims to the disputed region of Kashmir, as well as end its support of the region’s Muslim militants (whom many in our intelligence services feel have ties to Al Qaeda).
Freeing ourselves from our profitless Pakistan policy would allow us to look clearly at the biggest problem in the region: China. We should tell Beijing that we will help India match China’s arms buildup and that we will work toward a modified free-trade agreement with India to help it offset China’s state-dominated trade practices. [NYT]