Uneasy partnership - The US and Pakistan's dysfunctional alliance


New Member
Feb 16, 2009
The importance of Pakistan to the United States, and vice versa, can hardly be overstated. With nearly 100,000 US troops combating the Afghanistan insurrection, Pakistan's co-operation is essential in limiting cross-border militancy and allowing land routes to keep supply lines open. Islamabad, meanwhile, seeks US support, funding and arms.

However, bilateral relations between the two countries have historically been in flux. While the US was eager to support Pakistan during the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan during the 1980s, once the conflict ended, so did Washington's largesse.

In recent months, there have been signs that Islamabad has been willing to ignore this chequered past and more fully support Washington's regional policy. A series of arrests of militants in February and March has hinted at a coalescence of aims and policies.

Overall, though, major issues remain unresolved and popular, political and military opinion suggests the US has not yet won the enduring trust of Pakistan.


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