Friday, January 23, 2009

Afghanistan and India; Iraq and Serbia--two cases for American non-intevention

Earlier today I posted that PM Karzai of Afghanistan seeking closer ties with India to the detriment of Pakistan appears to be one of the reasons for the US beginning attempts to oust him.

Here's some more meat to that Reuters story, and be sure to note the Iranian connection:

KABUL, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai and India's foreign minister opened a new road on Thursday that will help link Afghanistan with a port in Iran and challenge Pakistani dominance of trade routes into the landlocked country.

The 220-km (135-mile) road in the southwest Afghan province of Nimroz is the centrepiece of a $1.1 billion Indian reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. It has drawn sniping from Pakistan, worried about its rival's growing influence there.

India, denied access through Pakistan, hopes to be able to deliver goods to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chahbahar, and this has triggered fears in Pakistan it is being encircled.

"This project symbolises India's strong commitment towards development of Afghanistan," said Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Did you know, by the way, that India has already expended $1.1 Billion in rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan?

Now put this together with the new Iraq-Serbia arms accord and increasingly warm diplomatic relations (a relationship that dates back to the good old days of Saddam and Slobo):

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledged to strengthen ties with Serbia after meeting the country's defence minister on Thursday, as a withdrawal of US troops edged closer.

Maliki said the countries needed to move beyond the necessary supply of weapons to Iraq's army and police force, signalling intent to work closely on "other vital aspects" of policy.

"We are at the beginning of a process of rebuilding and reconstruction," Maliki said in a statement, noting Serbia had already trained a number of Iraqi students and that closer co-operation would follow.

Military ties between Baghdad and Belgrade resumed in September 2007, seven years after they ceased when late autocratic Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was ousted in a popular uprising....

"We have friendly relations with Iraq, we want to maintain and develop these relations," Sutanovac said.

"We are ready to provide all that Iraq needs... training Iraqi cadres in the field of military medicine and putting the potential of the Military Academy at their disposal," he added.

We cannot micro-manage the world. The US idea of employing old heavy-handed Cold War tactics either to isolate Iran or to buck up Pakistan is about as smart as using the Keynesian economic strategies of the 1930s to fix the post-industrial, information-based economy of 2009.

Oh. Oops. Never mind.

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