Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is Pakistan a Reliable Ally?

Diplomatic partners since Pakistan came into existence, the United States and the south Asian country have pursued a number of key interests together. Pakistan facilitated a U.S.-backed expulsion of the Soviets from the region, the United States sent humanitarian assistance to Pakistan in times of natural disasters, and most recently, Pakistan has been a crucial ally for the United States in its “War on Terror.” However, the U.S.-Pakistani relationship has shown signs of strain, with many Americans doubting Pakistan’s commitment to eradicating the Taliban from Afghanistan. As the United States supplies billions of dollars in economic and military aid, evidence has surfaced that Pakistan supports anti-American insurgents. The killing of Osama bin Laden is a vivid example of Pakistani-U.S. tensions­—Pakistan objected to the secret U.S. raid launched within its borders while the United States was dismayed that the terrorist behind the 9/11 attacks lived comfortably in a Pakistani military town. Pakistani officials resist allegations that they are not cooperating with the United States while diplomats continue to navigate the volatile relationship. Here is the Debate Club’s take on whether the United States can consider Pakistan a reliable ally:

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