PLEDGE NOW
Pakistan's Enviro "Stress" As "Threat Multiplier"

What are the geopolitical implications of the massive flooding in Pakistan? We touched on many issues related to that in our segment Wednesday (listen to it here). Of course, helping the flood victims is the top priority now. But for a sense of the U.S. strategic view, see this new Congressional Research Service report, which was just made public by the Federation of American Scientists. Here’s an excerpt from the summary:

The creation, or expansion, of ungoverned areas, or areas of limited control by the government of Pakistan, is viewed as not in U.S. strategic interests given the recent history of such areas being used by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups as a base for operations against U.S. interests in the region. In this sense, environmental stress is viewed as a potential “threat multiplier” to existing sources of conflict.

Environmental factors could also expand the ranks of the dispossessed in Pakistan, which could lead to greater recruitment for radical Islamist groups operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Larger numbers of dispossessed people in Pakistan could also destabilize the current political regime. This could add pressure on the Pakistani political system and possibly add impetus to a return to military rule or a more bellicose posture towards India. This issue has added significant importance to regional security and American interests in Afghanistan.

The potential for environmental factors to stoke conflict between the nuclear armed states of India and Pakistan is also a concern. These two historical enemies have repeatedly fought across their international frontier and have yet to resolve their territorial dispute over Kashmir. Further, a longstanding dispute over cross-border water resource sharing between India and Pakistan has resurfaced, possibly exacerbating existing tensions between the two states. Should the two countries wish, however, this dispute also offers a renewed opportunity for cooperation, as has been seen in past negotiations.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 29, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina waves during a rally in Indianapolis, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, when Cruz announced he has tapped Fiorina to serve as his running mate. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Trump and Hillary wins. Bernie lays off. Cruz chooses Carly. Beyonce drops “Lemonade.” Our weekly news roundtable goes beyond the headlines.

Apr 29, 2016
Screengrab from the #MorethanMean video produced by Sarah Spain and Julie Dicaro. Scroll down to view the video.

Women pushing back. A video by two female sports reporters about online harassment goes viral.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 28, 2016
Detail of the National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing US debt, on Sixth Avenue August 1, 2011 in New York.  US Vice President Joe Biden said Monday he was confident that Congress would approve a major austerity plan to avoid a debt default as he met with skeptical members of his Democratic Party.AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Beyond the campaign sound and fury, how do we really solve our biggest national problems? One smart citizen thinker weighs in- with you.

 
Apr 28, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a Women for Hillary event in New York, Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hillary Clinton and the women’s vote. How it’s broken against Bernie Sanders. How it might play out against Donald Trump.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment
 
The Boston Globe Imagines — And Rejects — A President Trump Front Page
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

The Boston Globe editorial page imagines — and rejects — President Donald Trump.

More »
Comment