Obama Agenda on Pakistan
Staff Report, Daily Times, January 22, 2009
LAHORE: The new US administration will increase non-military aid to Pakistan, but hold Islamabad accountable for security along the border region with Afghanistan, according to a US foreign policy document released soon after President Barack Obama assumed office.
The document – available on the White House website – says, “Obama and [Vice President Joe] Biden will increase non-military aid to Pakistan and hold them accountable for security in the border region with Afghanistan.”
Refocus: It says that Obama and Biden would ‘refocus’ American resources on the “greatest threat to our security – the resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan”. “They will [also] increase our troop levels in Afghanistan, press our allies in NATO to do the same, and dedicate more resources to revitalise Afghanistan’s economic development. Obama and Biden will demand the Afghan government do more, including cracking down on corruption and the illicit opium trade,” it adds.
New era: The documed goes on to promise the beginning of a new era and pledges the US would end the war in Iraq ‘responsibly’, in addition to ‘finishing’ the war in Afghanistan. “President Obama and Vice President Biden will renew America’s security and standing in the world through a new era of American leadership. The Obama-Biden foreign policy will end the war in Iraq responsibly, finish the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.”
According to the new agenda, the US also intends to “secure nuclear weapons and loose nuclear material from terrorists’, and renew American diplomacy to support strong alliances and to seek a lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
In his capacity as the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden – a known expert on Afghanistan and Pakistan – introduced legislation in the US Senate to increase non-military aid to Pakistan. The legislation proposes to triple non-military aid to Pakistan over the next five years. The bill also calls for greater accountability on security assistance, to improve Pakistani counter-terrorism capabilities and ensure more effective efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
As the key points of Obama’s foreign policy agenda indicate, the new administration is expected to follow the key elements of Biden-Lugar proposals.
For the complete agenda document of Obama Administration, click here