How can the interconnection of Pakistan, Russia, Georgia and Iran affect the United States? Brookings President Strobe Talbott, Ted Koppell and Neal Conan discussed this question on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.
Neal Conan: The United States has important interests in Pakistan—a nuclear power next door to a nuclear power with whom it is constantly in confrontation. And that, of course, is India. It is absolutely critical to the conduct of war in Afghanistan. It is involved in a war of its own with Islamic militants—including the Taliban. What are we to make of the resignation of Pervez Musharraf.
Strobe Talbott: Well, on the one hand, it’s welcomed as a kind of clearing of the air, a clearing of the decks, and Ted alluded to this, as well. Musharraf has been an extraordinarily problematic friend—to put it in polite Washington terms—of the United States. He has accomodated the United States in so far as we insisted on it and we had leverage to make him accomodate us. But he was always playing a double game…
I think the next [U.S.] administration will conclude that the path to Pyongyang—assuming there can be one—still goes through Beijing.