US and the Af-Pak Strategy: Pakistan’s Interests & Likely Responses
   ·   01 Apr, 2009   ·   98    ·    Issue Brief

Key words: Obama, US, Taliban, moderate Taliban, Pakistan, terrorism, Af-Pak 

Obama makes an interesting observation about the Taliban; he concludes that “there is an uncompromising core of the Taliban”, which he considers “must be met with force, and must be defeated.” Does this mean there is a periphery within the Taliban willing to compromise? The entire concept of “moderate” or “friendly” Taliban emerges from this perspective. True, as Obama says, there are “those who have taken up arms because of coercion, or simply for a price.”

Will this strategy of working with a moderate Taliban yield desired results in Afghanistan? Does Pakistan also believe that there is a moderate Taliban, which it could work with? And more importantly, do the US and Pakistan identify the same elements as being the  “uncompromising core”?

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