announce her nomination as secretary of state, they promised the country, and the world, a much-needed push toward the restoration of world order.
It would be, Mr. Obama said, “a new beginning—a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century.”
Except, perhaps, in the one place where order is needed most.
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 170 people have rendered instantly quaint the president-elect’s blueprint to use aggressive diplomacy to engineer a stable relationship between nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan, and to formulate a regional approach to winning the war in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Pakistan and India experts say, Mr. Obama’s plan to invest billions of dollars in non-military resources in Pakistan is endangered by the economic crisis at home, and by Pakistan’s less-than-sympathetic status following the attacks.
After running as the antidote to Mr. Bush’s foreign policy, it’s not even clear anymore whether Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton will be able to do anything significantly different from the Bush administration in the world’s most intense hot spot.
“They are going to have to run to catch up with events,” said Stephen Cohen, the author of The Idea of Pakistan and a prominent scholar at the Brookings Institution on issues relating to the subcontinent.
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