Obama's Taliban Airstrikes Are Part of a Failing Strategy

May 24, 2016 Topic: Security Region: Asia Tags: PakistanAfghanistanTalibanDefenseForeign Policy

Obama's Taliban Airstrikes Are Part of a Failing Strategy

Mullah Mansour’s death in Pakistan will usher in more violence in Afghanistan.

Violence continues to drop in Pakistan as it grows in Afghanistan. To a large degree, Pakistan has progressed in de-hyphenating itself from Afghanistan. In the near term, Pakistan’s primary goal should be to insulate itself from instability in Afghanistan. But in addition to Pakistan’s moral responsibility to Afghanistan, an unstable, war-ravaged Afghanistan is an obstacle to Pakistan’s long-term plans for regional connectivity, which currently center on an economic corridor connecting it with China, but extend further out into Eurasia. For this country of nearly two hundred million people to truly prosper, it needs to actively produce a post-jihadist environment not just in Pakistan, but in the region itself.

Arif Rafiq (@arifcrafiq) is president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic guidance on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues.

Image: Clearing operations continue in northern Kandahar. Flickr/DVIDSHUB