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Friday, November 28, 2008

American Foreign Policy Must Not Fall for Terrorist Divide and Conquer Initiatives

The terrorist attack in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, the capital of Maharashtra, is a harbinger of challenges facing worldwide democracies and, in particular, the incoming Obama Administration, perhaps linked to predictions by the VP=elect Biden that the new US President will be tested. . This ostensive divide and conquer initiative, likely to be seen repeatedly in coming months, must not distract US foreign policy from the critical objective of holding a united front against the terrorists. India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is not helping by blaming forces “based outside this country” in a thinly veiled accusation that Pakistan was involved. Mr. Singh issuing a warning that seemed clearly aimed at Pakistan, which India has often accused of allowing terrorist groups to plot anti-Indian attacks.

“The group, which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country,” he said. “We will take up strongly with our neighbors that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated, and that there would be a cost if suitable measures are not taken by them” (NYT, 11/28/08).

Whatever validity may be present in this opinion, it is not a constructive way to respond in what appears as hip shooting when careful consultation with allies should be the order of the day.


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