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Foreign Affairs

Bringing Down Pakistan

This morning brings another attack in Pakistan.  This Jane Perlez article in today's New York Times is worth reading.  It is now clear that the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other groups are working closely--and effectively--to bring down the Pakistani state.  That would be a catastrophe, and not only for the region.  Now read this Dexter Filkins long piece in the NY Times Mag (in print Sunday) on Gen. McChrystal's plan, and why it is not a slight Iraq-Surge-like change of strategy, but rather "is a blueprint for an extensive American commitment to build a modern state in Afghanistan, where one has never existed, and to bring order to a place famous for the empires it has exhausted. Even under the best of circumstances, this effort would most likely last many more years, cost hundreds of billions of dollars and entail the deaths of many more American women and men. And that's if it succeeds."

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