Here's How the U.S. Can Work With Pakistan

Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, center, speaks with reporters in 2012. Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, center, speaks with reporters in 2012. B.K. Bangash/AP

Pakistan and America have had some tough years. When President Obama first took office, Pakistan had just returned to democracy after years of military rule, and many were optimistic that the two countries could build a new and healthy relationship.

Leaders in both countries hoped they could contribute to regional stability, promote prosperity, and work together against militancy and terrorism. Instead, despite great effort, we've seen increasing mistrust and skepticism on both sides. Now, as President Obama begins his second term, Pakistanis prepare for an election that, if it proceeds as hoped, would mark the successful completion of a civilian term of office and the continuation of civilian institutional rule, flawed as Pakistani democratic institutions might be.

In both capitals, the high hopes of 2008-2009 have given way to a more sober mood. We now should engage realistic assessments of what we can do. Let me suggest how we can assess the last four years, and look forward to progress in the next four and beyond.

First, the common task of fighting militancy and terrorism remains a priority for both countries. I believe it is a mistake for America to view Pakistan exclusively through the optic of our efforts in Afghanistan, as we've too frequently done in recent years. And yet as the situation changes in Afghanistan in 2014 and beyond, we need to marry realistic timelines and policy decisions with the priorities of Pakistani officials. This means continuing with the successful formula of high-level meetings that combine military and civilian leaders from both countries ("three-on-three"), talking together about military and civilian topics, so that joint decisions on security issues are not hampered, or even crippled, by institutional barriers in either government.

Read more at The Atlantic

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.