More than 90 killed in Pakistan car bomb as Clinton arrives (+ analysis); Australia rejects asylum seekers; Merkel wins German election; US and China seek to build military ties; and more

Top of the Agenda: Bomb Blast in Peshawar

A car bomb went off in Peshawar on Wednesday, killing more than eighty people (Guardian) roughly three hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. The militant attack is the deadliest in a wave of violence sparked by the Pakistani military's campaign against Pakistani militants in South Waziristan.

Clinton is visiting senior officials (Al Jazeera) as part of a three-day visit with US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke. The talks will center on issues including American drone strikes inside Pakistan and a $7.5 billion US aid package that conditions aid on Pakistan's commitment to fight the Taliban. Clinton also plans to discuss growing anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.

Analysis

The Washington Post reports that US actions in Pakistan have placed the Pakistani government on the defensive against political opposition, and that the Obama administration needs to balance its desire for calm US-Pakistan relations with Congressional concerns that US aid will be wasted.

In a Washington Post op-ed, CFR's Richard Haass says a stable Pakistan is essential to a successful U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and that US efforts should aim for Pakistan to exercise total control over terrorists within its borders.

Background

A CFR Backgrounder discusses Pakistan's new generation of terrorists.

A CFR interactive timeline explores the history of US-Pakistan relations.

 

PACIFIC RIM: US-China Military Ties

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for an end to "on-again, off-again" relations (Sydney Morning Herald) with China in a meeting with General Xu Caihou, China's second-ranking officer. The talks were the highest-level visit by China's military since 2006 due to tensions over US arms sales to Taiwan and US surveillance of Chinese waters.

Australia: Australian authorities have refused to take in (BBC) seventy-eight Sri Lankan asylum seekers from a ship in Indonesian waters. The group is the latest in a stream of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Insurgents attack UN workers in Kabul
UN says US drones may violate international law
Merkel re-elected as German Chancellor

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org

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