View Full Version : No Sign Until the Burst of Fire

07-29-2008, 03:28 PM
From International Security, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Spring 2008)

Subtitle: Understanding the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier.

The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is 1,640 miles long, much of it spanning terrain so remote and so mountainous that it is virtually inaccessible. For Pakistan, instability extends beyond both endpoints. To the east, the border with China along “the roof of the world” runs 325 miles and separates Pakistan from China’s discontented Uighur Muslim minority in Sinkiang Province, a land once known as the independent Khanate of Kashgaria. Far to the west, Pakistan shares a 565-mile border with Iran, home on both sides to restless Baluchis and drug smugglers. Stretched out on a map of the United
States, the Pakistan-Afghanistan border would run from New York City to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Even in ancient times, the vast area that lies along this border served as both barrier and gateway and was a refuge for insurgents, smugglers, and bandits.

Here is the PDF link to the document:


07-29-2008, 05:49 PM
On a quick screen reading another excellent descriptive piece, but the concluding pages are full of gems. Far better than the recent CFR paper, for example dismissive of US aid to the Frontier Corps. Even manages an optimstic tone rarely heard when Pakistan is the subject.

The squabbling between Afghanistan and Pakistan is one issue; another is the rivalry between ISI and India's RAW. Still un-answered is how the Pakistani public can be persauded that counter-terrorism is a national issue, not done for the USA alone. Pakistan's foriegn minister when in Birmingham (UK) last Friday was very animated on making this point to a Pakistani audience, unlike when speaking the day before at IISS, London when other topics dominated.