Afghanistan and Pakistan may be the next major arenas of prolonged conflict due to new outcroppings of Islamic fundamentalism.
Most of the energy and leadership for the escalating crises comes comes from militant Islamic groups and leaders producing “economic meltdown and ethnic and sectarian warfare” So writes Ahmed Rashid in the November/December, issue of Foreign Affairs. Both countries are increasing their military prowess, preparing for the time when the leaders give the call, to root out all non-Islamic opposition.
In Afghanistan the battle is primarily over control of the national government, with the fundamentalists showing a readiness to declare war on all their opponents. In Kashmir, the struggle revolves around the Islamic forces in Pakistan arming to prevent any Hindu domination of the Kashmir people and their long-standing tradition of religious toleration.
In another article Jonah Blank reports that the same fundamentalism is at work in the decades-old struggle between India and Pakistan over control of nearby Kashmir The Islamic fundamentalists have found in their faith and national loyalty the momentum to establish the strictest form of Islam over against civil liberties, religious toleration, and human rights. The experts find little reason to think that major war will not soon break out, as the United States and other Western powers continue to ignore the powderkeg potential of this region.
— By Erling Jorstad