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Pakistan Policy Working Group: The Next Chapter: The United States and Pakistan

September 2008


Pakistan may be the single greatest challenge facing the next American President. The sixth most populous country in the world is suffering its greatest internal crises since partition, with security, economic, and political interests in the balance. With such turmoil, this report by the Pakistan Policy Working Group finds U.S. interests in Pakistan to be more threatened now than at any time since the Taliban was driven from Afghanistan in 2001. The United States cannot afford to see Pakistan fail, nor can it ignore the extremists operating in Pakistan's tribal areas. Pakistan's nuclear arsenal (and past nuclear proliferation), al-Qaeda, and the war in Afghanistan keep U.S. national security firmly anchored in Pakistan. Afghanistan cannot succeed without success in Pakistan, and vice versa. As Americans learned to their great sorrow on September 11, 2001, what happens in Southwest Asia can profoundly affect their lives.

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