Hit & run

United States foreign policy is up and running, seriously engaged in building an international coalition against terrorism. Seems like only yesterday that Mexico presented our most pressing foreign-policy problem. President Vicente Fox and President George W. Bush agreed that good relations between the two nations depended on regularizing the status of Mexican citizens working illegally in the United States. Today, Fox and undocumented Mexican workers have been eclipsed by the war on terror and the ratcheting upward of U.S. immigration controls. Not surprising perhaps, but that Mexico has slipped as a foreign-policy priority is symptomatic of the post-cold war American propensity for disregarding the interests of allies whenever our attention is drawn elsewhere, as if we can attend to only one foreign-policy problem at a time. There are consequences to this neglect-as the current crisis in Central Asia amply demonstrates.

After September 11 we must tend to our very bad relations with the Pakistanis, as well as shaky relations with Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Indians along with other members of the coalition summoned to help the United States fight terrorism.

Pakistan, once among our closest allies, collaborated with the CIA during the seventies and eighties to defeat the Soviet military in Afghanistan. We funded and armed the Afghan Mujahedin to whose cause Osama bin Laden and other Arab Muslims were recruited....

To read the rest of this article please login or become a subscriber.