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Is Kashmir key to Afghan peace?

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Such ideas would appear to fit well with the doctrines of Gen. David Petraeus, who oversaw a significant improvement in law and order in Iraq. He is now the commander of American forces in the entire region, which includes Afghanistan.

General Petraeus has been an open advocate of regional diplomacy as a key counterinsurgency tactic. On Oct. 15, he told a round table of Washington Post reporters that in seeking solutions to Afghanistan, "there may be opportunities with respect to India."

The goal would be to build a level of trust between India and Pakistan, freeing Pakistan from its historic fear of India, with which it has fought three wars. The surest way to do this, Obama has said, is to find a solution to Kashmir – the state split between each but claimed in full by both.

"We should try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that [Pakistan] can stay focused – not on India, but on the situation with those militants," he told MSNBC on Oct. 31.

Obama went further in the Time interview, mentioning he has spoken with former President Bill Clinton about becoming a special envoy to the region – a comment that has been front-page news in India and Pakistan.

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