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New York Times: A New Pakistan Policy of Containment

Author: Bruce O. Riedel, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
October 14, 2011

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Bruce O. Riedel stresses the need to reshape U.S. policy toward Pakistan.

AMERICA needs a new policy for dealing with Pakistan. First, we must recognize that the two countries’ strategic interests are in conflict, not harmony, and will remain that way as long as Pakistan’s army controls Pakistan’s strategic policies. We must contain the Pakistani Army’s ambitions until real civilian rule returns and Pakistanis set a new direction for their foreign policy.

As Adm. Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee last month, Pakistan provides critical sanctuary and support to the Afghan insurgency that we are trying to suppress. Taliban leaders meet under Pakistani protection even as we try to capture or kill them.

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