Gloomy Perspectives

Just preparing to leave New York and head back to Sweden after an intense day of discussions here.

At the SACC NY centennial, Richard Holbrooke and I had a public discussions on the different challenges we are facing in the years ahead.

I’m afraid it was a rather gloomy session.

While I spoke of most things between Kabul and Khartoum becoming increasingly problematic, Holbrooke said the same but used the expression between Beirut and Bombay. At the end of the day it means the same.

And we both failed to see the coherent either European or American policies to address this, not to speak about coherence in approach across the Atlantic. But we agreed that without that appearing, the situations are likely to get worse.

Meanwhile, President Bush in Washington is trying to get President Musharaf of Pakistan and President Kharazai of Afghanistan to improve their relationship and be more effective in countering what the New York Times today actually calls an ”insurgency” in Afghanistan.

The seriousness of the situation is illustrated not only by the word ”insurgency”, but also by fear that it is getting ”iraqized”. Not good.

President Bush has also decided to release to the public important part of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) dealing with terrorism that’s been subject of controversy in the last few days.

It’s worth reading – without being particularly sensational. You can find it through the NYT article on the subject.

Better head back to Stockholm.

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