A False Choice in Pakistan

Courtesy Reuters


Even before the dust had settled on 9/11, U.S. policymakers were well aware that Pakistan was at the center of the world's worst Islamist terrorist networks. The Bush administration quickly moved to persuade once-sanctioned Islamabad to become an essential partner in the "global war on terror." But today, nearly six years after Secretary of State Colin Powell first announced that Washington and Islamabad stood "at the beginning of a strengthened relationship," the Taliban are still entrenched in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, al Qaeda's top leaders have found a secure hideout in Pakistan, and terrorist attacks within and beyond Pakistan's borders persist with deadly regularity.

Given these failures, it is no surprise that Americans are increasingly frustrated with the slow and uncertain progress in Pakistan. Many, including some members of the U.S. Congress and a number of serious Pakistan watchers, have begun to express fundamental doubts about

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