“2014 and Beyond: U.S. Policy Towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, Part I”
November 3, 1011
House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
Carol Christine Fair Assistant Professor Georgetown University Security Studies Program,
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
U.S.-Pakistan Relations: Ten Years after 9/11
Officials and voters in the United States often cite a "trust deficit" to explain the perennially tumultuous relationship between the United States and Pakistan over the last ten years. Pakistani officials, commentators, and citizens alike frequently describe how, in their view, the United States “used” Pakistan then abandoned it when expedient. This narrative is inevitably only a part of the story. It generally fails to note that Pakistan, each time that it engaged with the United States, did so to service its own strategic aims while professing commitment to those of its partner.
During the Cold War, Pakistan formally allied with the United States through the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO, formally the Baghdad Pact) and the Southeast Treaty Organization (SEATO). While it nominally espoused U.S. objectives, its principle motivations were driven by the need to build up its armed forces vis-à-vis India, which had fared far better from the partitioning of the British Raj than had Pakistan.i
During the anti-Soviet Jihad, Pakistan again partnered with the United States. Pakistan, however, had already formulated its Afghan policy in the mid-1970s, long before the Soviets rolled across the Amu Darya. While Pakistanis often claim that the United States used Pakistan to oust the Soviets, an equally important counter-narrative is that Pakistan took advantage of U.S. strategy to pursue its own. Most importantly, due to the need to work with Pakistan, the United States waved nuclear-related sanctions that had first been applied in 1979, under the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act. During the anti-Soviet jihad, Pakistan was able to expand its military and acquire U.S. weapons systems while continuing to make important progress in developing a nuclear
Ten years into the most recent engagement, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, it has again become abundantly clear that Pakistan’s strategic interests diverge starkly from those of the United States. Most observers of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship admit that Pakistan’s allies—such as the Haqqani Network, the Afghan Taliban and Islamist militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, among others—are America’s foes. It is equally clear that America’s ascendant ally in the region—India—is Pakistan’s nemesis. Thus what bedevils U.S.-Pakistan relations is not pervasive distrust but rather a surplus of certitude: certitude that, for the foreseeable future, U.S. and Pakistani strategic interests have only a small—and quickly vanishing—area of overlap.
U.S. policy makers have been reluctant to embrace this unpleasant reality because it raises serious questions about how the United States can secure its interests in Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond. But the mounting evidence that the United States and Pakistan share fundamentally orthogonal goals on most issues of interest to the United States can no longer be ignored or deferred. After a brief recounting of the last decade and its discontents, this written statement lays out a number of possible engagement strategies towards Pakistan in the near and medium term.
This is Not the Strategic Partnership the US Imagined: How Did We Get Here?
Over the last ten years, the United States has pursued relations with India and Pakistan under the rubric of “dehyphenation.” That is, Washington has interacted with New Delhi and Islamabad without regard to their long-standing and intractable security competition.iii Proponents
of this policy tend to advocate vertically integrating U.S. policies towards India and Pakistan while minimizing the real collateral effects that engaging either India or Pakistan has on the other. While this has been an elegant rhetorical argument motivating foreign policy, its practicality has been belied by the zero-sum nature of Indo-Pakistan competition itself.
While the United States has sought to cultivate Pakistan’s support in the struggle against violent Islamist extremism, at a significant cost to the Pakistani state, the United States has also pledged its support to help India become a global power, including military assistance and the infamous Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. Equally problematic, the United States has encouraged Indian involvement in Afghanistan without regard to Pakistan’s concerns and often without any genuine consideration—much less assessment—of what India is actually doing apart from its stated activities.
On the other hand, U.S. cupidity towards Pakistan has overwhelmingly emphasized the provision of support to Pakistan’s military. India has long complained—with considerable justification—that U.S. assistance has been directed into Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal and that the weapons systems provided to Pakistan—such as F-16s—have greater utility against India than against Pakistan’s domestic insurgents and terrorists.
Whether Islamabad and/or Rawalpindi believed that Pakistan’s abandonment of the Afghanistan Taliban in 2001 would be temporary or whether this overture signaled a genuine willingness to change course will likely never be known. However, a perusal of President Pervez Musharraf’s September 19, 2001 speech reminds us that Pakistan acquiesced to U.S. demands not because of an inherent strategic alignment but rather to counter any Indian advantages. He explained to the Pakistani public that
They want to isolate us, get us declared a terrorist state… In this situation if we make the wrong decisions it can be very bad for us. Our critical concerns are our sovereignty, second our economy, third our strategic assets (nuclear and missiles), and forth our Kashmir cause. All four will be harmed if we make the wrong decision. When we make these decisions they must be according to Islam.iv
While the United States greeted this speech as a sign that Pakistan would actively cooperate, a
close reading of the speech reveals a tone of resignation. The ultimate aim of the speech was not to reverse decades of dangerous Islamist politics (including supporting militancy) but to convince Pakistanis that Pakistan must act to counter Indian advantages in a post-9/11 gobal order..
It is important to acknowledge that Pakistan offered unprecedented assistance to the United States, including port and airfield access, ground lines of control, and air space. Without Pakistan’s support, the U.S. ability to launch Operating Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001
would have been in question.v Moreover, Pakistan assisted in the capture of numerous high-value al
Qaeda operatives. Notably, however, Pakistan did not remand high-level Taliban to the United States. Quite the contrary. From at least 2004 onward, Pakistan resumed its support for the Taliban. Indeed this support was likely an important factor in the Taliban’s resurgence in 2005, the consequences of which the United States, as well as its Afghan and other partners, continue to suffer.
Since 2004, Pakistan has also undertaken a selective set of operations against Pakistani Islamist militants,. Mmany of these militant commanders organized under the rubric of the Pakistan Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan) in 2007. While Pakistan has lost many citizens and members of the armed forces in this conflict, it is too often forgotten that Pakistan’s war against its own terrorists and insurgents is selective. It focuses upon those commanders within the Pakistani
Taliban who will not cease targeting Pakistan while considering those (e.g. Maulvi Nazir, Gul Bahadur) who target American forces in Afghanistan to be allies.vi While Pakistan’s losses are truly tragic, Pakistanis tend to blame the United States for these deaths rather than their government, which has cultivated the militants for decades. While it is true that the U.S.-led war on terror and Pakistan’s participation in that effort galvanized the current insurgency, it is also true that had Pakistan not cultivated these proxies in the first place the Pakistani Taliban would be far less
capable—if it even existed at all.
Thus, howsoever crucial Pakistan’s contributions have been, they have been eclipsed by Pakistan’s contribution to the problem of instability, insurgency and terrorism. Pakistan—despite numerous assurances to the contrary—continues to support groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which has attacked Americans and its allies in Afghanistan since 2004 and which perpetrated the November 2008 Mumbai outrage in which several Americans were also killed. This is in addition to
the terrorism campaign that LeT and numerous other groups have sustained in India since 1990 with
support from Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).)
The United States has appropriated some $22 billion in economic and security assistance as well as military reimbursement between FY2002 and FY 2011 to Pakistan. (This is divided between
$14 billion in security assistance and military reimbursements and $7.4 billion in economic assistance).vii Admittedly, obligations are not the same as disbursement, and this remains an important bone of contention between the United States and Pakistan. But irrespective of the precise sum in question, the simple fact remains that while Pakistan has benefited from U.S. assistance under the explicit expectation that it help the United States in its struggle against Islamist terrorism in the region, Pakistan has in fact supported the very groups against which the United
States is fighting. It is the Taliban and the Haqqani network that are responsible for the majority of U.S. and coalition fatalities in Afghanistan, yet these very groups are suspected of being a “strategic arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.”viii Pakistan is the firefighter, the arsonist and the vendor of a variety of propellants.
From “Af-Pak” to “Pak-Af”: Sever and Saunter
Since 2005, with the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, U.S. focus has slowly but surely moved from al Qaeda in Afghanistan to the Taliban, if for no other reason than that al Qaeda has largely moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan. While the United States in late 2005 finally acknowledged that Pakistan was indeed supporting the Afghan Taliban, it did not pressure Pakistan to act against the Taliban because it remained focused on al Qaeda. As the U.S. concentrated more on the Taliban, it became increasingly insistent that Pakistan do more to disable that group. However, in the same period, Pakistan redoubled its commitment to the Afghan Taliban while sustaining its long-term commitment to the Haqqani Network.
It should be forthrightly conceded that from Pakistan’s point of view the developments in the region were deeply injurious to Pakistan’s security interests. India, under the U.S. security umbrella and with U.S. approval and encouragement, had re-ensconced itself in Afghanistan. The U.S. strategic partnership with India signaled to Pakistan that America’s long-term partner in the region was India. Implicit in Washington’s pursuit of New Delhi as a partner is the recognition of India as the regional hegemon and a growing extra-regional power of some consequence. The United States has simply failed to grasp that Pakistan will not, in any policy-relevant future, accept Indian hegemony. To do so would be to concede defeat for Pakistan’s expanding revisionist goals, which first focused upon changing the territorial status quo over Kashmir and which increasingly involve undermining India’s expansion in the region.
In the face of the emerging recognition that Pakistan and the United States have divergent – if not actually conflicting—interests, the United States deepened its military posture in Afghanistan. Proponents of counterinsurgency argued for a larger footprint and eventually prevailed upon the Obama administration to surge U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Opponents of this approach (such as this author) were doubtful that U.S. COIN efforts in Afghanistan could ever fructify given the limited numbers of combat troops available, the niggard contribution of combat troops of our allies and their less than robust capabilities, a broken U.S. aid agency, a surprisingly shallow understanding of the region, persistent lack of language skills, and an Afghan partner that seemed more vested in securing its own corrupt patronage networks than providing any semblance of governance that could displace the Taliban and allied network of militant commanders.ix
While progress in Afghanistan—or lack thereof—remains subject to debate, what is quite clear is that the United States has put itself in a very precarious situation. In expanding its military commitment in Afghanistan, it deepened its dependence upon Pakistan during a period when Pakistan and U.S. interests were rapidly diverging. Thus American officials struggle to explain to American taxpayers why it is that the United States continues to see Pakistan as an ally even while the United States is largely at war with Pakistan’s proxies in Afghanistan. How strange is it that the United States has leveraged itself to Pakistan for access to ground and air lines of control to fight a counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan, when the very insurgents are supported by Pakistan and it is Pakistan that is most likely to determine the outcome of that fight, likely in a way that is injurious to U.S. interests and investments?
The United States needs to work quickly to re-optimize its position in Afghanistan. While the United States remains dependent upon Pakistan, it has virtually no political will to compel Pakistan to cease support for the Taliban and the Haqqani network much less group like LeT. The year 2014 offers the United States an important opportunity to shift away from counterproductive counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and move towards a more sustainable relationship with both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Near-Term Engagement with Pakistan?
In the near term, the United States will remain poised on the knife’s edge of logistical dependence upon Pakistan. Americans should not mistake a logistical transaction for a strategic relationship. Pakistan has consistently demonstrated that it does not want a strategic relationship with the United States; rather it has sought to maximize economic, political and military gains while
minimizing its commitment to the United States. The United States should adopt a more pragmatic tone about the nature of this relationship. Pakistan is essentially renting out its air and ground lines of communication, and the two countries should settle upon a price for what is mainly a business transaction. Similarly, the United States needs continued access to Pakistani territory to sustain the drone campaign. Pakistan cooperates in both of these activities because it has benefited from doing so. If Pakistan wants a strategic relationship or a relationship that is more expansive than a transactional relationship, the initiative should be on Pakistan to propose such an engagement.
This does not mean that the United States should disengage. However, while the U.S. repositions itself in Afghanistan, U.S. goals for engaging Pakistan should be modest. To date large- scale aid projects have simply failed to deliver due to the deep deficiencies in USAID’s current business model, a past over-reliance upon institutional contractors, an inability to identify credible and appropriate Pakistani NGOs as US partners, a paucity of genuine reform-minded Pakistani governmental partners, and a security posture that prevents Americans from leaving their enclaves. Added to this list of debilitating challenges, the Pakistan government has recently placed absurd restrictions upon U.S. diplomatic officials after the Raymond Davis affair and the unilateral U.S. raid that resulted in the demise of Osama Bin Laden. (The United States government has not placed reciprocal restrictions upon Pakistani diplomats.) No amount of U.S. assistance to Pakistan can attenuate deep-seated anti-American antipathy, and indeed the instrumentalization of U.S. aid only fosters Pakistani cynicism that the United States attempts to help Pakistan only when its own aims are being served.
United States assistance to Pakistan should focus on tangibles such as power and infrastructure rather than areas, such as education, curriculum reform, and social issues, that are deeply inflammatory. The United States should quickly move to a less ambitious aid program that is demand-driven rather than supply-driven. If the United State wants to invest in human development, it should consider doing so through multilateral development agencies, which are more capable of delivering results.
The Next Ten Years of U.S.-Pakistan Relations?
Over the coming decade, there are few prospects for a major rapprochement between the United States and Pakistan, particularly if that rapprochement requires either that Pakistan abandon its militant proxies and aggressive regional revisionism or the United States alter its relationship with India.
Equally disconcerting is the likely reality that, as India continues its rise, Pakistan’s reliance upon Islamist militancy, the only tool that it has to change India’s trajectory, will increase, not decrease . The fact that Pakistan is suffering grievously as a result of this policy does not diminish the confidence of the ISI and the army that they can continue to manage their fissiparous former and current proxies. Increased destabilization in Pakistan as well as increasing accounts of militant infiltration of the armed forces raise a number of disconcerting questions about Pakistan’s command and control of its nuclear assets as well as more quotidian concerns about the possibility of a Pakistan-based terrorist group conducting a mass-casualty operation in India that sparks a conventional war. The United States should expect that whatever political order is created in Afghanistan to enable the United States to wrap up large-scale counterinsurgency efforts, Pakistan
will expeditiously seek to undermine it—unless that order was what Pakistan wanted in the first place. Pakistan has a greater willingness to bear the costs needed to shape Afghanistan according to its strategic needs than does the United States.
Worse, the increasing propensity of small numbers of Muslims in Europe and North America to radicalize and undertake training in Pakistan (and increasingly in Yemen and Somalia) threatens
to bring Pakistan into a serious collision course with the United States and the international community.
The realization that Osama bin Laden had been ensconced for years in Abbottabad—a military cantonment and home of the Pakistan Military Academy—was profoundly vexing for U.S. officials who have to answer for U.S. budgetary decisions in a crushing financial crisis. Pakistan’s inordinate interest in capturing those who collaborated with the United States rather than understanding how Bin Laden enjoyed such sanctuary has only exasperated U.S. patience with Pakistan. Admittedly, the unilateral U.S. raid deeply humiliated Pakistan’s military. As the Pakistan military has maintained control over Pakistan based upon its self-proclaimed unique ability to protect Pakistan, this was another blow to an institution that has sustained many challenges over the last ten years.
The ongoing outrage over Pakistan’s duplicity, coupled with the global economic crisis, has prompted many U.S. lawmakers to propose ceasing all support to Pakistan or stringently conditioning all aid to Pakistan upon its cooperation in combating terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
While these impulses are understandable, they must be resisted. Pakistan right now is extremely vulnerable and combative. Its decisions are deeply troubling, whether we consider its expanded interference in Afghanistan or its rejection of International Monetary Fund assistance. It is imperative that Pakistan not become North Korea: a rogue regime that is disengaged from most of the international community.
However this does mean that the United States should continue its decade-long policy of seeking to induce Pakistan’s cooperation with large-scale economic and military assistance. What the last ten years have demonstrated is that these incentives have had no effect on Pakistan’s fundamental strategic calculus. Given that political allurements (e.g. a conditions-based nuclear deal, active U.S. efforts to resolve disputes with India, ensuring an explicitly pro-Pakistan regime in Afghanistan, etc.) are politically poisonous in the United States given Pakistan’s problematic record, Washington has no choice but to acknowledge that U.S. and Pakistan interests and allies are fundamentally incompatible while also understanding the essential need to stay engaged in spite of this fact.
Pakistan, for its part, is tired of participating in a war effort with the United States—albeit on highly selective terms—that is fomenting increased domestic tension, while the United States seems deaf or indifferent to its security concerns. These center on India's defense modernization
and the U.S. role in facilitating it; the impact of the U.S.-India civilian nuclear deal on Pakistan's own nuclear program; the nature of India's presence in Afghanistan (particularly given Pakistani beliefs that India is supporting subversive elements in Pakistan from Afghanistan) and other related issues.
I propose a somewhat radical way of reframing our relations with Pakistan. In 2009, I argued that if U.S. efforts to persuade Pakistan to abandon its strategic use of militants and other policies deleterious to U.S. interests and international security failed, then the “United States and its partners will have to reorient their efforts toward containing or mitigating the various threats that emanate from Pakistan.”x I believe that this time has come to adopt this approach and the United States should take advantage of the draw-down in Afghanistan to make such a strategy possible.
There are several components of this proposed approach.
First, rather than continuing to frame U.S.-Pakistan relations within the context of a “strategic dialogue,” the United States should scale back its pursuit of Pakistan and resist framing the relationship—or lack thereof—in civilizational terms. The United States appears as if it is an uxorious suitor while Pakistan’s demurrals only increase the price of engagement. Pragmatism must replace optimism as the guiding principle. This should be a gradual process. Pakistan has been accustomed to U.S. efforts to engage and to use financial incentives to influence Pakistani decision- making. Any rapid de-escalation could well catalyze an even more precipitous decline in U.S.- Pakistan relations with ever more dangerous consequences. And this certainly cannot be undertaken given the current dependence upon Pakistani cooperation with U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.
Second, rather than seeking to forge a strategic partnership with a country that does not seek such one, the United States should simply embrace the fundamental transactional nature of its relations with Pakistan but expect Pakistan to fully deliver on each transaction.
Third, U.S. efforts to elicit changes in Pakistani society through its USAID program are misguided. First USAID’s efficacy can be and should be questioned. The U.S. Congress has had numerous hearings about aid to Pakistan—and Afghanistan—and the objective results of these engagements have been less than satisfactory given the price tag. This does not mean that the United States should not continue to help Pakistan with its problems. However, it should do so with less publicity and with greater focus on projects that are executable such as power, roads and other infrastructure. No doubt such efforts will suffer from corruption. However, the United States at
least has the ability to ensure that minimal quality standards are in force for these projects. And, as noted above for the short term, in the future the United States should rely more upon the United Nations Development Program and similar multilateral platforms.
Fourth, the United States should still seek to develop democratic and civilian institutions when there is a clear demand from a Pakistani partner. This partner should have an executable plan, with metrics to monitor success in outcomes, and this Pakistani partner must have their own
financial resources invested in the project. There is no hope for Pakistan to become a stable country that does not negatively affect the security of the region without greater civilian control of the military. But the United States cannot force such changes.
That said, the United States has for too long encouraged the army’s praetorianism. The conditions on security assistance that were enshrined in Kerry-Lugar-Berman were a good start. Unfortunately, the language of the bill offers Pakistan and the United States many loopholes even if the conditions are not met, as evidenced by Secretary of State Clinton’s March 2011 certification that Pakistan was fulfilling its obligations to help fight terrorism among other issues. This certification was issued even while the United States was planning the Bin Laden raid. It would have
been better for the administration to have sought a waiver, which would have signaled to the
Pakistanis that U.S. national security interests would prevail—for the time being.
Fifth, the United States should engage Pakistan’s military as it does with any other military. The International Military Education Training (IMET) program is important. Where possible, it should be expanded. However engaging Pakistan’s military does not mean the provision of
strategic weapon systems or other weapon systems that are more suitable for fighting its revisionist conflict with India than domestic terrorism and insurgency. This also means treating the Pakistan military like a military. There is no reason why the US Secretary of State should meet with the Chief of Army Staff routinely, much less the head of the ISI. The United States should follow its diplomatic protocol. While the desire to go to the source of power is understandable, there is no reason to believe that engaging the army chief directly produces better cooperation or even that the army chief or ISI chief are honest interlocutors in the first place. The United States needs to attenuate its khaki addiction.
Most importantly, the goal of engaging this army and other armed forces should be observation rather than transformation. Because the army will dominate security policy on things about which the United States cares deeply, it must continue to engage the army, but on a sustainable scale.
Sixth, the United States also needs to continue working with Pakistan’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies on issues of importance to both, such as international crime and terrorism, regional developments of mutual concern, tackling Pakistan’s domestic terrorism, cooperative anti- narcotics efforts, fortifying physical security of important institutions and infrastructure against terrorist attacks, and so forth. But these should not be the public cornerstone of our relationship. They should remain quiet and out of the public eye.
Seventh, the United States must take advantage of its growing independence from Pakistan to erect increasingly robust containment initiatives that directly pertain to support for terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and murderous abuse of human rights (as we have seen in Balochistan and elsewhere). The United States has considerable tools at its disposal to do so and can certainly innovate new ones where current legislation is inadequate.
· The Leahy Amendment was crafted precisely to punish security forces that engage in human rights excesses, while having the ultimate aim of rehabilitation rather than permanent isolation. U.S. unwillingness to apply this law has contributed to the sense of impunity that pervades Pakistan’s military, police and intelligence agencies. Regrettably, the U.S. record of respecting rule of law and human rights in Pakistan is not unblemished. The United States has directly benefited from Pakistan’s policies of detainment without charge and of “enforced disappearances.” The “disappeared” Pakistanis remain a source of outrage in Pakistan, as there is no way of locating these persons and accounting for their whereabouts. Unless the United States is prepared to lead by example, it should have little expectation that Pakistan will do better on its
· The United States should consider sanctioning or designating specific persons within
Pakistan’s government when there is credible evidence that the individual is supporting
terrorism or nuclear proliferation. The U.S. Congress could consider visa restrictions on such persons and their families.
· The United States should not certify that Pakistan is in compliance with U.S. laws when it is not (e.g. Secretary Clinton’s March 2009 certification that Pakistan was complying with Kerry-Lugar-Berman requirements). If engaging Pakistan despite these failures is critical, a waiver should be sought as a potent signal that Pakistan is not fulfilling its obligations and that future assistance is contingent upon U.S. needs rather than on some idea that Pakistan is carrying out its side of the bargain faithfully. Issuing dubious certifications also confuses Pakistanis about what their government is or is not doing and makes it hard for the United States to explain the eventual cessation of assistance that could arise from Pakistan’s failure to perform per the terms of reference in the assistance.
· The United States should move aggressively to counter Pakistan’s militant networks outside of Pakistan. I recognize that operating against Lashkar-e-Taiba’s headquarters in the Punjab and elsewhere will be nearly impossible and subject to the limits of tradecraft. Similar concerns exist for operating against the Afghan Taliban in Quetta, Karachi and other cities. However, nearly every one of these groups has an extensive network in the Gulf, the rest of South Asia, South East Asia, Europe and North America. There is no reason why the United States should not be more aggressive targeting these nodes of activity, be it through monitoring financial transactions, identifying individuals facilitating the groups and working with host-nations to conduct police and other raids upon these organizations and their facilitators.
· Where possible the United States needs to expend diplomatic effort to ensure that as many of Pakistan’s partners as possible adopt a common approach. China will be an obvious problem. However, even China ultimately voted at the UNSC to designate Jamaat-ul-Dawa (LeT’s new operational name) a terrorist organization in 2009, though it had declined to do so a year before.
In short, the United States must engage where it can, with clear thinking about the nature of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and an honest assessment of whether the terrorists Pakistan is helping the United States to eliminate are more important than the terrorists they continue to nurture. The United States should try to invest in positive social change when there is an opportunity to do so and a vested partner to work with. This engagement must be focused, transactional and have the near-term goal of monitoring the army and the intelligence agency, not transforming these institutions over any policy-relevant time scale. This is simply beyond the capabilities of the United States.
Such an approach is more sustainable, financially and politically, given the beleaguered state of the U.S. and Pakistani publics, who are exhausted with the other’s ostensible perfidy. Finding such a sustainable and functional relationship rather than an inflated, expensive program that fails to meet the most fundamental objectives may be the best way to stay engaged in Pakistan over the long haul. The stakes are high. The United States cannot afford to walk away even it can’t afford to stay engaged as it has been. The security of Americans and Pakistanis alike depends upon these two countries getting their bilateral relationship “as right” as is realistically possible.
C. Christine Fair is an assistant professor at Georgetown University's Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is the author of The Madrassah Challenge in Pakistan (2008) and co-editor of Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh (2010) and Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces.
NEXT: Derek Reveron, Afghanistan and the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy
i Dennis Kux, the United States and Pakistan, 1947-2000: Disenchanted Allies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
ii Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, 2005), 103–5, 167–68; Barnett R. Rubin, The Fragmentation of Afghanistan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 83–84; and Rizwan Hussain, Pakistan and the Emergence of Islamic Militancy in Afghanistan (Burlington: Ashgate, 2005), 79–81.
iii Ashley J. Tellis, "South Asia: U.S. Policy Choices," in Taking Charge: A Bipartisan Report to the President-Elect on
Foreign Policy and National Security-Discussion Papers, eds. Frank Carlucci, Robert E. Hunter, and Zalmay Khalilzad
(Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2001): p. 88, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1306z1.html; also see Ashley J. Tellis, "The Merits of Dehyphenation: Explaining U.S. Success in Engaging India and Pakistan," The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 31, no. 4 (Autumn 2008): pp. 21—42, http://twq.com/08autumn/docs/08autumn_tellis.pdf. See my critique of this in the context of the last decade in C. Christine Fair, “Under the Shrinking US Security Umbrella: India's End Game in Afghanistan?" The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Spring 2011), pp. 187-189.
iv President Pervez Musharraf, “President Address to the Nation,” [sic] September 19, 2001. Available at
v For a detailed inventory of Pakistan’s extensive assistance, see C. Christine Fair, The Counterterror Coalitions:
Cooperation with Pakistan and India. (Santa Monica: RAND, 2004).
vi Seth G. Jones and C. Christine Fair. Counterinsurgency in Pakistan (Santa Monica: RAND, 2010).
vii K. Alan Kronstadt, “Pakistan-U.S. Relations: A summary,” CRS Report R41832, October 20, 2011.
viii Admiral Michael Mullen, U.S. Navy, Chairman Joint Chiefs Of Staff Before The Senate Armed Services Committee
on Afghanistan And Iraq,” September 22, 2011. http://armed-
ix For a useful debate on these two positions, see Gilles Dorronsoro, Fixing a Failed Strategy in Afghanistan
(Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 2009) and Ashley J. Tellis, Reconciling With the Taliban?: Toward an Alternative Grand Strategy in Afghanistan (Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April, 2009).
x C. Christine Fair, “Time for Sober Realism: US-Pakistan Relations," The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2 (April
2009), p. 166-167.
xi Human Rights Watch, “We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security
Forces in Balochistan,” New York, 2011.