Clinton: US Policy in Pakistan for last 30 Years 'Incoherent'

Reacting to:

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had this to say about US policy in Pakistan for the past few decades:

You know, Helen, I think that it is fair to say that our policy toward Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent.  I don't know any other word to use.  We came in in the '80s and helped to build up the Mujahideen to take on the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.  The Pakistanis were our partners in that.  Their security service and their military were encouraged and funded by the United States to create the Mujahideen in order to go after the Soviet invasion and occupation.

The Soviet Union fell in 1989, and we basically said, thank you very much; we had all kinds of problems in terms of sanctions being imposed on the Pakistanis.  Their democracy was not secure and was constantly at risk of and often being overtaken by the military, which stepped in when it appeared that democracy could not work.

And so I think that when we ask that question it is fair to apportion responsibility to the Pakistanis, but it's also fair to ask ourselves what have we done and how have we done it over all of these years, and what role do we play in the situation that the Pakistanis currently confront.

I believe that what President Obama is doing with our new approach toward Pakistan is qualitatively different than anything that has been tried before.  It basically says we support the democratically elected government, but we have to have a relationship where we are very clear and transparent with one another; where we have the kind of honest exchanges that have come out of our trilateral meetings, where we're sitting across the table and we're saying, what do you intend to do about what we view as an extremist threat to your country, which by the way, also threatens us.

By: on 22 May 2009

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Can't ask for much more in

Can't ask for much more in the short run, other than that actual policy matches this rhetoric ;)  As a source I once had said in a different context, "Announcements are free." :)

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