The Great Game, Cont’d

For those of you who were puzzled by the sudden withdrawal of challenger Abdullah Abdullah from the runoff election in Afghanistan the other day, the Asia Times has the answer: he did so under U.S. pressure, as part of a complex deal brokered by our Secretary of State during her recent visit to Pakistan. Mr. Abdullah was considered by Islamabad to be a potential ally of India, and in order for the U.S. to strengthen its ties with the Pakistani army and the ISI, he had to go.

The agreement also confirms a tilt in US policy toward the real power in Pakistan — the military and intelligence services — and away from the titular democratic authority of President Zardari, who will become increasingly marginalized as events unfold.

What does the US get for this? The possibility of a way out of Afghanistan, with an uneasy “arrangement” of some sort brokered between the Taliban, the Pakistani Army, and a biddable Hamid Karzai, who presumably will be content with whatever arrangement allows him to maintain his agreeable lifestyle.

Read all about it here.


  1. Without the fake skin-hues, the false or hastily-grown beards, and the ill-set lungees, the Great Game has lost much of its old charm and style.

    Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  2. howsurprising says

    Better that we don’t try to engage the world as an imperial power. I’m with Pat Buchanan there. We do far better by showing the world the shining light of democracy by example.

    Posted November 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

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