The Pentagon’s Southasia

By Kanak Mani Dixit

, by Himal Southasian

A new web portal run by the US military could herald an interventionist rather than home-grown regionalism.

In December 2011, a new Southasiannews portal became available on the web – Khabar South Asia. This could have been a welcome development, given the decades-long campaign to promote Subcontinental regionalism as a means for socio-economic advancement. What was intriguing was the ‘About Us’ button, however, which let on that the portal is brought to you by the Pacific Command (PACOM) of the United States military.

There may be reason to take some satisfaction from this new arrival among those who have been working over the years to develop cross-border journalism in the region. That the multi-billion dollar machine of the US military-intelligence complex has decided on the same pathway must amount to something. This is as far as the satisfaction goes, however. Regionalism in Southasia should be an instinctive endeavour of the people of the region, and not something to be promoted or manipulated by the geo-strategic agenda of a world power.

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