AirTalk for December 15, 2009

U.S. policy toward Pakistan

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Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators march in support of the Pakistan army during a protest against terrorism in Lahore on December 15, 2009.

President Obama's new plan for Afghanistan, which includes a surge of 30,000 more troops, has been the subject of much debate. But what about Pakistan? Many, including V.P. Joe Biden, say that country is more vital to America's long-term security interests in the region. Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal, is the home base of Al Qaeda, and has a fragile political system. What can the U.S. do in terms of direct policy initiatives there? Who has influence over the Pakistani military and government? The State Department? Congress? CIA? Who can exert pressure on militants? And what should be done to avoid making the situation worse?

Guests:

Haider Mullick, Senior fellow at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU); fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow in Asian Studies at the Heritage Foundation

Ambassador Robert Finn, currently a lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School


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