On Christmas Eve, CJ and I published a report stating that the US’s reliance on Pakistan for cooperation on counterterrorism operations is flawed, as the US-Pakistan relationship is deteriorating and the Pakistani support for American CT operations has never been more than tepid. Just one day later, on Christmas Day, The New York Times published an article titled “US Prepares for a Curtailed Relationship With Pakistan,” which said:
With the United States facing the reality that its broad security partnership with Pakistan is over, American officials are seeking to salvage a more limited counterterrorism alliance that they acknowledge will complicate their ability to launch attacks against extremists and move supplies into Afghanistan.
The United States will be forced to restrict drone strikes, limit the number of its spies and soldiers on the ground and spend more to transport supplies through Pakistan to allied troops in Afghanistan, American and Pakistani officials said. United States aid to Pakistan will also be reduced sharply, they said.
“We’ve closed the chapter on the post-9/11 period,” said a senior United States official, who requested anonymity to avoid antagonizing Pakistani officials. “Pakistan has told us very clearly that they are re-evaluating the entire relationship.”
At some point, US officials who make policy with regard to Pakistan will realize that Pakistan’s cooperation in counterterrorism efforts will be extremely limited at best.
The Obama administration is now eager to push the meme that al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan is defeated [see this article from The Washington Post, as well as this Threat Matrix report, for background]. And eventually, that view will also be discredited.
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