January 2, 2003
The 50 year old Kashmir dispute has all the attributes T.S. Eliot assigned to History. It has "many cunning passages, contrived corridors" and "deceives with whispering ambitions, guides us by vanities." During the past year, as India and Pakistan faced-off militarily and the U.S. searched for al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists nearby, the dispute seemed especially dangerous, U.S. interests in the subcontinent compelling, and America’s influence and Pakistani as well as Indian receptivity to U.S. mediation high. Many called for U.S. mediation to resolve the dispute. These calls, however well-intentioned, are misguided.