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Terrorism & Security

Obama win sparks global conversation on Iraq and Afghanistan

Troop withdrawal, Taliban havens, and Iraq's security may define Obama's presidency, analysts say.

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In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai celebrated Obama's victory and welcomed the president-elect's new strategy, which places a greater focus on the war with the Taliban, reports Reuters India. Mr. Karzai also requested that Obama help eradicate Taliban strongholds in Pakistan.

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An Afghanistan-based Taliban spokesman also had a message for Obama, reports the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press [password protected]. Qari Mohammad Yousuf stated that the new American president should withdraw troops from Afghanistan and thus "begin an era of peace."

Critics of Obama's Afghanistan strategy have pointed out that increasing troop presence there will not necessarily be the best solution, reports The Guardian.

According to the BBC, news of Obama's victory provoked a warm reaction in Pakistan.

Pakistan's prime minister also congratulated Obama on his victory, saying he hoped the Democrat would promote "peace and stability."

However, Dawn, an English-language Pakistani daily, reports that Mr. Gilani warned on Tuesday that unless unilateral attacks by US and NATO forces on targets in Pakistan ceased, the new president would face widespread anti-American sentiment.

An opinion piece in another Pakistani daily, The News, warns against Obama's Pakistan policy, arguing that it will result in civil war and an eventual takeover by longtime rival India.

Indeed, Obama's expressed desire to address the longstanding Kashmir dispute so that the Pakistani military can focus on tackling the regional terrorist threat has caused concern in New Delhi, reports The Hindustan Times.

On a more general note, a news analysis by Rob Reynolds on the Al Jazeera website emphasizes how Obama's heritage may facilitate relations between the US and the Muslim world at large.

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