The United States right now is going through a difficult period in the Middle East, where there is a great deal of animosity toward the United States in the streets, ... It's important now for the United States to be doing things to lower the level of hostility in the region, to be in the position to engage elements of the Arab world in a more important dialogue that would engender some respect.
[What impact the earthquake may have on the politics of the disputed region remains unclear. So far, the opposing sides have been unwilling to coordinate relief efforts, although] both Indian and Pakistani politicians are concerned about putting on a good show and getting up there and demonstrating they're active, ... But it may also have affected some of the Pakistani-based terrorist groups that have operated in India-administered Kashmir.