Dr Haider Mehdi The ancient French/German wisdom in political negotiations proclaims: The devil is in the details. A true and extremely accurate proclamation. Pakistan found out the devil in the details in the Kerry-Lugar Bill and the US-brokered NRO. It has discovered the devil in the details in its IMF negotiations and its loans conditionalities, and it will most certainly learn the same lesson when the euphoria over the recently concluded strategic dialogue with the US diminishes to the realisation of its fundamental realities. Some ancient wisdom, such as the devil is in the details is reliable for all times. We will discuss this in the context of Indo-US Afghan policy; but first, let me construct a rational bridge linked to the development of consistency in political thought and logical argumentation, by observable phenomenon. Years ago a friend, a powerful industrialist and an aspiring politician, said the following: Every person has a price; every one of us can be bought if the bidding is right - and political executions are as much a historical reality as the sun rising every dayhow else can we explain powerful leaders and nations committing mass executions of less powerful nations and peoplethese mass executions are given the name of legitimate warswars are the fancy name for diplomacy by brute force Decades ago down memory-lane, I heard the same phenomenon repeated in the epic film The Godfather. Michael Corleone, the head of a mafia family says to Tom Hagen, the Consigliore: If anything in life is certain, if history has taught us anything, its that you can kill anyone. Later in the film, Michael sarcastically asks a US senator to name his price. In another intense moment, Michael tells Moe Greene, his casino partner in Las Vegas that he wants to buy him out. Greene replies aggressively: No, I buy you out, you dont buy me out. Greenes refusal to sell himself results in his execution-style assassination with a bullet straight to his brain through his left eye. Many films of our times are the true reflections of the contemporary political culture and its insidious consciousness that has emerged out of the technological civilisation and which promotes worldwide socio-political-economic management and the advancement of the multi-national corporate capitalist culture. A careful review of Obamas latest Afghan foreign policy doctrine will clearly indicate an intrinsic link to Corleones perspective on human history and its fundamental operative dimensions. Obamas administration has been consistently demanding that the Afghan president work out a split within the ranks of the Taliban resistance forces by buying them out and simultaneously has unleashed the surge of military force against them. At the same time, the US has been asking Pakistan to do more for the American interests. Added to the American arsenal of military force and buy out is the US alliance with India - a strategic and a tactical formula that holistically combines Corleones working methods into a manifested dogmatic foreign policy doctrine. Obama, in his recent secretive visit to Afghanistan, has once again asked Hamid Karzai to shelve his plans for peaceful reconciliation efforts with the Taliban. The Economist recently opined: Now Karzai seems in demand again. Obama met him at his palace in Kabul, and shared a dinner with his Cabinet. He invited Karzai to the White House in May, as part of the Americans efforts to bully and cajole him into playing his part in their high-risk counterinsurgency plan.America also wants to see the Afghan government push plans to win over low-level Taliban fighters, deemed susceptible to job creation.Some diplomats have also detected a coolness in Obama towards a planned 'consultative peace jirga, essentially a large meeting, to be held in May, of national representatives. The hope is that they will come up with an agreed approach to peace talks with the Taliban. India, the US alliance partner, is fully entrenched in Afghanistan on similar fundamentals and in for an even larger piece of action in the US-NATOs long range geopolitical objectives in South Asia, Central Asia and the planned future containment of China. In the process, Pakistans integrity and sovereignty are deliberately threatened by the devil in the details of this Indo-US undertaking. India has spiesdiplomatsa base of operations to train guerrillas to attack Pakistanand is arming and training terrorists at war against Pakistan, wrote Gordon Duff in Military Veterans and Foreign Affairs Journal. Indeed, Indian political-military activities in Afghanistan without the US approval and backing cannot take place or even be imagined as Indias sole political enterprise. Indeed, Indias legitimate commercial and political interests in Afghanistan cannot be disputed; that is not the issue. The problem lies elsewhere: Fundamentally, the close Indian political-military alliance with the US directly threatens the possibility of an immediate political settlement in Afghanistan and long lasting peace and political stability in this entire region. First, peace cannot and will not come to Afghanistan on US terms only. To think in this way is purely an illusion. US-NATO can have a war going on for another 100 years and even then they will not win. Second, there is an overall change in political mood in Afghanistan. Even some US commanders are saying that ultimate success will hinge on winning local sympathies. Third, Karzai himself is in a defiant state of mind against US dictates. Fourth, it is yet another political illusion in the minds of Indo-US alliance pundits that Pakistan will simply wither away or disintegrate under the political-military destabilisation strategy. The revolutionary reawakening of Pakistans civil society and the patriotic nationalist public sentiment is quietly giving birth to a new political renaissance in the country. Thus, Pakistan will certainly rise as a more powerful, stable, prosperous and mature nation. Fifth, Singh is ruling a nation that has prematurely indulged itself in the inaccurate political self-perception of a great power. Consequently, its leadership and urban population feel that India has been bestowed with the responsibility of a manifest destiny to regulate and manage regional and global politics - indeed, in a political alliance with the US. Admittedly, Indias massive population and its vast market potentials cannot be ignored as important factors to lift it to global importance and to political commercial eminence, both for the Western and Eastern blocs, including China. But by the same token, going by international poverty indicators, India today is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Sooner or later, its present global-political-military romance with the US will be politically confronted from within by its own massively deprived masses. As for Indias role in Afghanistan, it is an expensive political enterprise and a dangerous military engagement that India cannot sustain for very long Poverty at home should be Indias foremost priority. Each and every war has made America rich But for India and its masses, another war will eventually cause the bells to toll in its disunity and disintegration as a nation The fact of the matter is that poverty cannot sustain the high stakes of power, prestige and global political eminence The price is too high The devil is in the details The writer is an academic, political analyst and conflict-resolution expert. Email: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com