Byline: Constantine C. Menges
China, Russia and Iran shared with the United States a direct interest in the defeat of the Taliban regime and the al Qaeda network that trained armed groups attacking them. However, following the initial U.S. success in Afghanistan, these three countries will pose challenges to the next steps needed to defeat terrorism.
For years China has courted Pakistan as a means of intimidating India. Along with state visits and investments, China provided Pakistan the means to produce ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The recently renewed relationship of Pakistan with the United States, including the end of U.S. sanctions and the nearly $1 billion in U.S. aid, might have loosened China-Pakistan links. But the Dec. 13, 2001, terrorist attack on the Parliament of India by Pakistan-based groups and the subsequent military mobilization by both countries provided China with an opportunity to strengthen further its political-military ties with Pakistan.
While the U.S. called on both India and Pakistan to show restraint and urged Pakistan to act against terrorist …