The Afghan-Libya duo

Cameron and Obama have a duo to address. Irrespective of their stated positions that they won’t tolerate Libyan dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi in power any longer, both the allies are in need of re-strategising their priorities.

Afghanistan and Libya are issues that are not only pending on their desktops but on their minds, alike. Though Washingtons backseat policy in the case of Libya is not without a purpose, it has landed its allies, London and Paris, in a fix. A prolonged episode over the skies of Tripoli and Benghazi is not helping Britain, and this is why Cameron looks up to Obama to ensure an early exit from the North of Africa. What extra mile can the US administration walk in rescuing London is not difficult to guess, as it finds itself in a (new crisscross since having become an ardent supporter of Arab Spring from Tunis to Sanaa?

Apart from Libya, it’s high time both the US and Britain showed their cards on Afghanistan. Obama’s desire to see his troops come out of the mess in Southwest Asia by July is still on the table. Exiting Afghanistan means literally ending the bogey of war on terrorism, and that too close on the heels of killing the world’s most wanted terrorist — Osama bin Laden. Though they should stick to the exit plan, they shouldn’t blunder this time around as they did after defeating the Soviet Red Army. Two of the world’s major democracies need to spell out a Marshal plan of reconstruction and reengagement with the dispensation in Kabul, as they move on  to the norms of peace diplomacy.

Cameron and Obama can do well by sharing notes on Pakistan alike, and do away with the impression of jumping over the gun when it comes to detecting and defeating the terror network. The United States has an opportunity in disaster, as it is still the only power that could turn the tables while dealing with the war-weary North African state. The Nobel Peace laureate is in need of initiating personal diplomacy with the Libyan leader, and can help his allies, too, in exploring an amicable way out of the crisis.

America and Britain have a chance to undo the mess of Iraq and Afghanistan by prudently deciding over Libya. Kneejerk reactions have hardly helped in formulating a policy. All it requires is leadership.

Khaleej Times

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