The U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan: Untangling Without Unraveling
HBO Series on Asian Hotspots
In recent months, U.S.-Pakistan relations have soured. The alliance has been strained by a series of political disagreements and mistrust in the wake of the Bin Laden assassination and the November border clashes between NATO and Pakistani troops. Now, especially as the U.S. works toward withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, improving relations with Pakistan is imperative, not only as a means for stabilizing that country, but if there is to be hope for a stable Afghanistan as well. Generating greater trust is a priority, and the U.S. has stated its relationship with Pakistan is of vital importance given Pakistan’s emergence as the leading player for facilitating U.S. actions in the region.
Vali Nasr is the recently appointed dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, former professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University and former advisor to Richard Holbrooke. He seeks to solve the problems beleaguering the relationship shared by the U.S., Pakistan, and Afghanistan. He will be joined by Saeed Shafqat, an expert in the area of South Asian studies and formerly a professor at Columbia University in New York. Their ideas, along with those of moderator Christine Fair, an expert in South Asian political and military affairs at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, may hold the key to untangling the kinks in diplomatic ties.
Dr. Nasr was previously with the Council on Foreign Relations and was a senior fellow at the Belfer Center of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a specialist on political and social developments in the Muslim world and is the author of several books, including Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Middle Class and How it Will Change Our World. Dr. Shafqat is currently teaching at the College of Wooster in Ohio and has held a number of academic positions in his native Pakistan. Dr. Fair was formerly a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation.