Conversations with History: Anatol Lieven on Pakistan

Anatol Lieven is the author of the excellent America Right or Wrong. In the following interview he discusses his new book Paksitan: A Hard Country, which I shall review here shortly.

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Anatol Lieven for a discussion of his new book Pakistan: A Hard Country. Lieven emphasizes the important role of kinship in understanding society and the state in Pakistan. Discussing the military’s unique position as the preeminent national institution, he explains the sources of its power and prestige. Focusing on Pakistani national security thinking, he traces the perceived strategic threat posed by India, the role of Afghanistan in Pakistani strategy, the distinction between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, and the importance of Kashmir. He then proceeds to an analysis of the complex relationship between the United States and Pakistan. Lieven concludes with a discussion of the threat posed by Pakistan’s geographical location in the Indus valley and the long term implications of climate change for its future.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

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