Home / Articles / Containing Pakistan: Engaging the Raja-Mandala in South-Central Asia
Recent events have refocused attention on Pakistan’s role as an epicenter of global Islamist terror and called into question Islamabad’s reliability as an ally in the fight against a resurgent Taliban and the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Pakistan in fact suffers from abiding structural pathologies that make it a questionable Western ally at best. In its foreign policy toward Pakistan, the United States would do well to consider the ancient Indian geopolitical concept of the raja-mandala (“ruler circle”), which seeks to balance opposing spheres of influence and exploit the tensions between them. This concept provides the key to containing and eventually eliminating South-Central Asian terror.