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
May 4, 2015
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. (AP)

Second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault and more. We’ll look at the charges announced for six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

May 4, 2015
In this March 26, 2015 photo, Yvonne DeCory, a suicide-prevention outreach worker, stands in her small office in the basement of the Post Office in Pine Ridge, S.D. Nearly 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded on the reservation between 2004 and 2013. DeCory said few weeks go by with a suicide. (AP)

After clusters of high school suicides in California, Virginia, and Massachusetts, we look at the pressure parents put on teenagers to succeed.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 1, 2015
In this photo provided by World Vision, a house stands destroyed by Saturday’s earthquake at Paslang village in Gorkha municipality, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015.  (AP)

Nepal and Kathmandu after the devastating earthquake. We’ll look at the geology, geo-politics, rescue and the hard way ahead.

 
May 1, 2015
A protestor faces police enforcing a curfew Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. A line of police behind riot shields hurled smoke grenades and fired pepper balls at dozens of protesters to enforce a citywide curfew. (AP)

Protests, big questions in Baltimore. Gay Marriage at the Supreme Court. Bernie Sanders runs for President. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: May 01, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015

What happens when we change show topics last minute, and also what happens when a New York Times headline seems to accuse Kristie Alley of being responsible for the infamous George Washington Bridge lane closures.

More »
3 Comments
 
How To Help The Survivors Of Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake
Friday, May 1, 2015

Where and how to contribute aid to the relief effort in Nepal.

More »
4 Comments
 
Your Favorite Musical Memories Of Rain
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

When we say ‘rain,’ you say ‘…?’ (Here’s what you really said when we said ‘rain.’)

More »
6 Comments