Good Reads: America's Palestinian veto, war with China, and meet the Haqqanis
When the UN Security Council votes on Palestinian statehood, will the US have some backing for its expected veto? And how much longer can the US put off the unthinkable: a war with China?
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It has been two centuries, with its struggles against Britain, since the United States faced a strategic adversary that was simultaneously a broad and deep trading and financial partner. Friedberg catalogs the numerous business and academic interests inside the United States that profit from their relationships with China and who seek to downplay the strategic rivalry. Finally there are China's tactics, which emphasize patience and outwardly profess modesty about China's intentions and capabilities. Meanwhile, according to Friedberg, China seeks "to win without fighting" by establishing alternative networks and alliances that will eventually supplant and replace those global institutions created and defended by the United States and its allies.
Meet the Haqqanis
This must be a season for shaky alliances, because the New York Times published a great piece about the Pakistan-based Haqqani family and their ongoing war against the US inside Afghanistan. In recent days, American military commanders have become more open in their criticism of the Pakistani government for either supporting the Haqqani family, or for doing little to shut them down.
The answer comes close to a Pakistani version of the “Sopranos,” a criminal family with a number of unsavory businesses. Such a family might have had its uses for the Americans during the Afghan-Soviet war of the 1980s, but when the US is trying to prop up a stable, democratic regime in Kabul, the Haqqanis and their Pakistani supporters have worn out their welcome.
Few in Washington believe that Pakistan’s support of armed militia groups has diminished. American officials who were once optimistic they could change Pakistani behavior through cajoling and large cash payments now accept a sober reality: as long as Pakistan sees its security under threat by India’s far larger army, it will rely on militant groups like the Haqqanis, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba as occasional proxy forces.