U.S.-Pakistan Relations in Decline

by Daniel Pipes
May 4, 2011
Cross-posted from National Review Online

Although the execution of Osama bin Laden was mainly a symbolic and psychological act of counterterrorism, its most immediate consequence, ironically, affects U.S.-Pakistan relations.

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Obama and Zardari - allies no more?

This sudden crisis in relations may be unexpected but it culminates a process that has developed over decades. Pakistan is one of several Muslim-majority countries (Yemen is another; Turkey is becoming a third) where the U.S. government basically lacks any friends.

Although such a situation severely limits American options, here is a realistic policy recommendation that serves American interests:

Give up on the pretence that the two governments are allies and treat Pakistan – with its many madrassahs, its Islamist military leadership, and rogue intelligence service – as a danger zone. Adopt a policy of containment vis-à-vis the Islamism coming out of it, rewarding cooperation and punishing hostile acts. This approach permits Washington flexibly to collaborate or confront as circumstances warrant and needs change. (May 3, 2011)

Source material can be found at this site.

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