f_0022195_18262 - Copy

f_0022195_18262 - Copy - NORWEGIAN PEACEBUILDING CENTRE No....

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As a state and a nation Pakistan has been in trouble for many years, but both now seem to be in a downward spiral. As a recent Brookings study observed, it is very difFcult to predict Pakistan’s short-term future, or the impact on its neighbours, let alone the wider international community. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, its history of irresponsible behaviour as a nuclear proliferator, the close ties between radical Islamists and Pakistan, and its continuing hostile relations with India and Afghanistan all complicate efforts to look ahead even Fve years, let alone to speculate about effective policies. The present policy of focusing on internal stability while encouraging Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan and good relations with India is probably optimal, although it is unlikely alone to bring about Pakistan’s domestic transformation. These policies will not succeed unless Pakistanis, notably in the army, soon come to terms with their decaying state, rising radicalism, feeble economy and a waning spirit of national identity. Outsiders can point out the dangers and provide economic and even military assistance that will help on the margins, but the battle for Pakistan will be won – or lost – by Pakistanis themselves. Some proposed policies are irresponsible and others are self-defeating or impractical. Yet, a crisis precipitated by Pakistani behaviour, notably a terrorist attack that originated in Pakistan – whether it was deliberate or not, may force more proactive policies. Chief among these would be increased pressure on Pakistan, or even a containment strategy. Executive summary NORWEGIAN PEACEBUILDING CENTRE NOREF Policy Brief No. 1 February 2011 Stephen P. Cohen Coping with a failing Pakistan Stephen P. Cohen is Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program, the Brookings Institution, a former professor and State Department ofFcial, and the author of numerous books on South Asian military and security matters; his newest book is Arming without Aiming: India’s Military Modernization , with Sunil Das Gupta. He recently undertook a two-week and a Fve-week research trip to Pakistan and India, respectively, meeting with civilian and military ofFcials in both countries. In 1994 Dr. Cohen was named as one of the Fve hundred most in±uential people in shaping American foreign policy by the World Affairs Councils of the United States. Stephen P. Cohen
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2 Noref Policy Brief February 2011 February 2011 Pakistan’s decline States are glorifed bureaucracies, nations are ideas that are more or less viable. In the 1970s Pakistan was on the edge oF middle-income status and it was widely regarded as one oF the more politically and socially advanced Muslim states. However, Pakistan’s obsession with India, game-playing with nuclear weapons, and the narrow vision oF most Pakistani politicians, as well as short-sighted United States policy, wore down the liberal consensus. With the rise oF new Islamist sentiments especially aFter the Iranian revolution Pakistan was on a dangerous path. Both the idea and state oF Pakistan are widely,
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f_0022195_18262 - Copy - NORWEGIAN PEACEBUILDING CENTRE No....

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