President Bush commended visiting Pakistani President Mussharaf this week, as "a leader with great competence and vision." He assured Pakistan that the U.S. is "committed to the continuance of our friendship. A friendship based on principles, common goals and vision." In a country where people are still bitter about being "abandoned" by the U.S. in the past, Washington's broadly stated commitment to a long-term relationship with Islamabad was the top story in Pakistan.
The United States and India have revived military-to-military ties for the first time since they were severed in the aftermath of India's nuclear tests in May 1998. For India, these ties reflect the country's growing global status, confirmed by President Bush in his State of the Union address, when he praised relations with India in the same breath as relations with Russia and China.
Rhetoric and missile tests may be flying, but for many Indians nuclear war seems a remote prospect. At the height of tensions between India and Pakistan, people in the bustling city of Bangalore, India's answer to California's Silicon Valley, had decided that they were far more concerned about the dismal state of the IT economy than they were concerned about nuclear Armageddon. Fear of nuclear war in this South Indian city is conspicuous in its absence.
Special meeting with Mark Malloch-Brown, United Nations Development Programme Administrator
The new US military presence in Uzbekistan is one more sign of how the dominant geopolitical paradigms of the last half of the twentieth century are no longer operative. The Cold War and its aftermath post-Cold War period are at an end.
Marina Ottaway was joined by Shibley Telhami, Nawaf Obaid, and Mamoun Fandy to discuss challenges in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Terrorism's deep roots in the Middle East, and the nationalities of those involved in the recent attacks, have drawn even greater attention to the region.
The waiving of U.S. sanctions and the promise of economic assistance cannot have come too soon for Pakistan. The country has a teetering economy with an external debt of $32 billion, with 60% of the government's revenue going towards servicing the country's total debt. Prior to September 22nd and October 17th waivers, U.S. assistance to Pakistan was limited to mainly refugee and counter-narcotics assistance as well as an education program. We offer a brief summary of the primary sanctions that have been lifted.