I am in Washington DC for a week and like the frog in the well, who thinks his whole world is the surrounding walls of the fount, I expect the events in Pakistan to be hogging the space in the media here. Unfortunately the newspapers and the electronic media have more pressing local problems cover. The sacking of General David McKiernan, commander of the US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan made headlines for obvious reasons. Only a week after the decorated general made it at # 18 in The Time 2009 top 100 list, he was asked to exit. General Wesley K Clark, his superior officer and former NATO commander, had penned the sketch for General McKiernan, stating: "Dave McKiernan helped NATO win in Kosovo with smart thinking and a willingness to bring unpleasant news to his superiors. He's going to need both of those attributes in spades as he tries to steer the US and its allies now engaged in the oozing wound that is the war along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border." US Defence Secretary Robert M Gates has asked for the resignation of the general in less than a year, making a rare decision to remove a wartime commander and change horses mid stream. His choice for replacement, veteran Special Operations commander, Lieutenant General Stanley A McChrystal because the Pentagon needs "fresh thinking" and "fresh eyes" on Afghanistan, may make sense to the defence secretary but has caught the media analysts by surprise. The other big military related news pertains to the five US service members who were killed by a fellow soldier at a counselling centre in Baghdad. The slayings are the deadliest episode of violence between US service members since the start of the Iraq war and speak volumes for the amount of stress the US Armed Forces are being exposed to. The release of Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who had been convicted of spying in Iran and sentenced to eight years in prison is major news. Media here is taking a fresh look how more than two years after a United Nations weapons expert Robert Murtha was nearly killed by an explosion in his hotel bedroom, it's still unclear what happened. A UN colleague was initially implicated, but infighting between different UN agencies throughout the investigations led to a stalemate. The media here suggests he may have exploited his influential family connections to get millions of dollars' worth of Pentagon contracts. The infighting between the Republicans, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's involvement in a controversy accusing the CIA of knowingly misleading Congress about the interrogation techniques by the Bush administration on terror suspects and her admission that she knew as early as 2003 that the CIA had used water boarding on detainees is in the mainstream media. President Obama's backtracking on his decision and reviving the trial of Guantanamo Bay's 240 inmates has brought harsh criticism from some US civil liberties groups. The usual stories of foreclosure of loans and mortgages, people being laid off jobs, and the imminent collapse of the US automobile industry continue to be topics of debate. The high point of my visit was a session with Walter Anderson, Associate Director South Asia Studies at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University Washington DC. The honourable professor had invited me to have a discussion on the situation prevailing in Pakistan. When I reached his office and noticed the Indian dcor and the photographs of his Indian wife and his typically Hindu style Indian wedding, I was a little put off thinking that here is another India loving American. However, once we got talking, it was a pleasant surprise to realise that the professor is a well-wisher of Pakistan, was on first name basis with a number of Pakistani leaders and had a deep knowledge of the region, its politics, history and tribulations. Walter Anderson has recently retired as chief of the US State Department's South Asia Division in the Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia; held other key positions within the State Department, including special assistant to the ambassador at the US embassy in New Delhi and has been a member of the Policy Planning Staff in Washington, DC. We got talking on what India should be doing to reduce the tension between Pakistan and itself as well as how can mistrust be reduced and confidence built. It turned out that he himself was full of ideas and came up with some concrete steps like the immediate resumption of the peace dialogue, reduction of Indian forces from the Pakistan border and Line of Control in Kashmir and steps to resolve the Kashmir issue. I left the erudite scholar with a feeling that if there were more academics like him, who were willing to reflect on out-of-the-box solutions, perhaps peace may come to our region. For the time being, I had to make do with Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Democrat from Ohio's statement while speaking on a Supplemental Appropriations bill that would continue to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that America went to war against Iraq based on a lie that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. The previous administration even pursued torture to try to extract false confessions in order to justify the war. He reiterated that it is time to tell the truth that USA should not have prosecuted a war against the Iraqi people since the occupation has fuelled the insurgency. He asserted that: "Get out of Iraq. Get out Afghanistan. Come home America." The author is a defence and political analyst