Riedel: Stop Saying ‘Af-Pak’
The Cairo speech has eaten up most of my day, but last night, Bruce Riedel, the chairman of the Obama administration’s strategy review on Afghanistan and Pakistan, appeared on a panel at the International Spy Museum to talk about the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence organization and its relationship to Afghan and Pakistani extremism. (More on that in a subsequent post.) During the Q&A, Riedel went off on the “Af-Pak” neologism that some in the administration use (or used to use) to indicate the interconnectedness of the two nations:
I don’t think anyone on this panel used the terminology “Af-Pak” and I’m glad they didn’t. I think it’s insulting. I don’t mean this personally. But I don’t think when we talk about two countries who are our putative allies and partners we should refer to them in a diminutive way. So let’s leave “Af-Pak” to USA Today and other newspapers that don’t have enough space to spell the names of our partners.