Joe Klein: Pakistan Is the Reason US Can’t Leave Afghanistan

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Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein argues that military involvement in Afghanistan has also bound the United States to Pakistan, leaving the U.S. in no position to abandon the mission. He relates his experience in the Kandahar province, which borders Pakistan, where the only official government presence is dedicated to protecting a warlord.


In June 2009, President Obama called for ‘a new beginning’ in relations between the United States and Muslim world. One year later, with no sign of an Israel-Palestine peace deal, a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, and an ongoing nuclear standoff with Iran, has the “new beginning” stalled? Is the process of engagement a long-term one? Should the current strategy be sustained?

What can politicians do to re-build trust among these communities? How much impact do foreign policy decisions actually have on individuals’ perceptions of Muslim-West relations? What is the role of media in shaping public opinion? How significant is the role of the Arab-Israeli conflict in widening the gap between communities in the US, Europe and the so-called “Muslim world”? Is progress on the Middle East front a sine qua non for the improvement of Muslim-West relations? – United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

oe Klein joined TIME magazine in January 2003 to write a regular column on national and international affairs. His column, titled “In the Arena,” appears in TIME’s upfront “Notebook” section. Klein is a senior writer based in New York and Washington, D.C.

He has written articles and book reviews for The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, LIFE, Rolling Stone and other publications.



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