by Patrick Appel
[T]here’s at least one huge exogenous difference between the U.S.’s ability to help Haiti and Pakistan: sovereignty. In Haiti, the beleaguered and overwhelmed government of Rene Preval had no problem accepting help from its nearby American neighbor. Not so in Pakistan.
In Haiti, “We took over the landing strips. We took over completely the provision of assistance. There was not even a fig leaf of Haitian sovereignty,” observes Christine Fair, a South Asia expert at Georgetown University who just returned to D.C. from three months in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The Pakistani military in particular is walking a very thin line. They do not want to take responsibility for this fiasco, nor be seen as overridden by American demands and further dependent on a country that a lot of people hate.”
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