Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder: U.S-Pakistan Military Cooperation

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 27, 2008

U.S-Pakistan Military Cooperation, Greg Bruno, Staff Writer, Jayshree Bajoria, Staff Writer, June 26, 2008

  • “Military cooperation between the United States and Pakistan has undergone a tactical renaissance since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Moribund at the end of the Cold War, when concerns about nuclear proliferation and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan diminished Pakistan’s importance in the eyes of U.S. policymakers, bilateral military cooperation accelerated during the Bush and Musharraf administrations. In 2006, U.S. arms sales to Islamabad topped $3.5 billion (PDF), nearly matching total purchases by Pakistan during the fifty years prior to 2001. Now, with Pakistan’s tribal areas serving as the base of operations for Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, the United States has tried to strengthen these bonds. But U.S. covert military operations along the Afghan-Pakistani border, Washington’s unflinching support for President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s political instability, and Islamabad’s questionable record on terrorism have thrown one of America’s most important military alliances into disarray.”
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