News / Asia

Republican US Election Victory Could Impact South Asia

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, right, joined by House GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., talks about the changes in balance of power in Congress that will elevate him to speaker of the House, 3 Nov. 2010.
House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, right, joined by House GOP Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., talks about the changes in balance of power in Congress that will elevate him to speaker of the House, 3 Nov. 2010.

Multimedia

Audio


Many people in South Asia are assessing the results of the U.S. midterm elections.

The opposition Republicans have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives from President Barack Obama's Democratic Party and analysts in Pakistan say that could have an impact on some of America's international policies.

"I think Pakistan will have to understand that there has been a change in the political landscape of the United States," said Retired Pakistani Army Lieutenant General Talat Masood. He points out the U.S. election results were, in part, fueled by voter anger because of the poor economy and U.S. government spending.

Pakistan is one of the major beneficiaries of U.S. foreign aid and receives billions of dollars in economic and military assistance.

The increase in the number of Republicans in Congress is likely to have an impact on bilateral relations, said Masood.

"I think there will be a greater scrutiny as far as assistance is concerned and greater conditionality imposed on Pakistan," he said.  "And I think Pakistan would be expected now to do even a lot more and perhaps there will be even greater pressure on Pakistan."

Terrorism

The United States and Pakistan have been partners in the war against terror, but do not always agree on the best strategy to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaida backed insurgents.

The Pakistani Army has resisted any immediate military action against militants in the region of North Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan, which has been a safe haven U.S. military leaders have called the "epicenter of terrorism."

Now an Islamabad-based defense analyst, Talat Masood believes Republicans will bring more demands on the Pakistani Army he says is already stretched too thin.

"Pakistan's sanctuaries in North Waziristan and other areas, perhaps there will be greater pressure that Pakistan launch and clear those sanctuaries," Masood said.

Afghanistan

While the Republicans have generally supported President Obama's strategy for fighting the war in Afghanistan, many have opposed the president's July 2011 deadline for beginning a U.S. troop withdrawal.  They say setting such a date sends the wrong message about the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan and could embolden the insurgents to wait out the American military's departure.

Security Studies Professor Riffat Hussain of Quiad-e-Azam University in Islamabad says the Republican victory in the U.S. elections could force President Obama to adjust his strategy for the Afghan war.

"So I think [U.S. and NATO commander] General [David] Petraeus and the hardliners who think that the United States needs more time to make things work in Afghanistan, I think their hands will be strengthened," Hussain said.  "So, I think President Obama may have to shift the withdrawal date and postpone it at least by six months to a year."

Obama's Asia trip

One thing the Pakistanis will be watching very closely is President Obama's overseas trip later this week to its arch-rival and nuclear-armed neighbor India.

Professor Hussain says the key issue for Islamabad is the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, the source of two wars between India and Pakistan.

"It depends how this visit gets played out by the Indian media, and particularly on the very sensitive issue of Kashmir," he explained.  "What is going to be the policy stance or the verbal utterances by President Obama?"       

President Obama has promised to visit Pakistan sometime next year.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs