Armitage in the News again: Not for threatening Pakistan!
Daily Times, November 28, 2006
SINGAPORE: Failure to restore peace to Afghanistan may jeopardise stability in neighbouring Pakistan and have a knock-on effect on India, said former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage on Monday.
Calling on the international community to pay more attention to Afghanistan, Armitage said persistent violence in that country might wreck Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s efforts to defeat forces of religious extremism at home.
“I want to call your attention to Afghanistan. The stakes in Afghanistan are actually larger in the near term than they are in Iraq,” said Armitage at a seminar for conflict mediators in Asia.
Continued clashes in Afghanistan could also have knock-on effects on India, which may already perceive itself to be surrounded by failed or failing states such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, he said.
Afghanistan is currently enduring its bloodiest period since US-led coalition forces overthrew the Taliban’s radical Islamic government in 2001, with insurgent attacks gathering momentum.
“The knock-on effects of a lack of success in Afghanistan will have enormous repercussions,” said Armitage.
He called NATO’s current role in Afghanistan “an excellent model” of an international peacekeeping solution.
Armitage said he expected further US military policy decisions would involve much more consultation and oversight now that Democrats had won control of Congress in the mid-term elections.
“I personally believe that we need some time to reconstitute our army and our Marine Corps,” he said.
The situation in Afghanistan was not “an Iran situation which is a future problem, but a problem now”, he added. agencies