Unravelling the Afghan Pakistan Dilemma. The New US Policy Approach and its Consequences. Has the US changed its position? Will Pakistan be driven to seek support from China and Russia?
Vanda Felbab-Brown visits Edinburgh to present an expose and analysis of this highly volatile area. A very distinguished observer of Afghanistan and Pakistan affairs, she returns to the Asia Scotland Institute to share her thoughts on the potentially far-reaching consequences of the Trump Administration threat to withdraw funding from Pakistan.
She writes “ Pakistan’s policies toward both militant groups and Afghanistan are determined as much by incompetence, inertia, and a lack of capacity as by calibrated duplicitous manipulation.
Crucially, Pakistan’s willingness to accommodate Afghanistan-oriented militant groups is motivated by a fear of provoking militants to incite violence in Punjab and threaten the core of the Pakistani state instead of focusing externally. This paralyzing fear persists despite Pakistan’s desire to defeat Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.”
Vanda Felbab-Brown is a senior fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. She is an expert on international and internal conflicts and nontraditional security threats, including insurgency, organized crime, urban violence and illicit economies. Her fieldwork and research have covered, among others, Afghanistan, South Asia, Burma, Indonesia, the Andean region, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, and eastern Africa.
Felbab-Brown is the author of “Aspiration and Ambivalence: Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State-Building in Afghanistan” (Brookings Institution Press, 2012) and “Shooting Up: Counterinsurgency and the War on Drugs” (Brookings Institution Press, 2010) which examines military conflict and illegal economies in Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan, Burma, Northern Ireland, India, and Turkey. She is also the author of numerous policy reports, academic articles, and opinion pieces. A frequent commentator in U.S. and international media, Felbab-Brown regularly provides congressional testimony on these issues.