Watch What You Say
The statement floated by Adm. Willard, Commander of the US Pacific Command that US Special Forces were stationed throughout South Asia, in countries like India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka met with some well-deserved backlash. Willard claimed that these forces were working with special governmental agencies to train and cooperate with internal counter-terrorism and counter insurgency strategies.
While Afghanistan and Pakistan were not on that list, it is commendable that the governments of all nations, mentioned in the statement, responded strongly to the US and vehemently denied any governmental involvement in such a plan. It is important that such matters not be left to speculation and rumors. It is unwise for the U.S to issue sweeping statements and not expect any consequent reaction. The U.S seems to be rallying support for its counter-terrorism efforts and create a bloc in South Asia while isolating Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is no immediate need for the U.S to be involved in the Maldives, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka when it has not entirely stood by these countries in the past. Admiral Willard’s statement sounds like a bluff, designed to illustrate America’s might and guarantee its long-term involvement masked by a questionable act of goodwill.
Aly ul-Saleem Male, The Maldives