The Pakistan Dilemma

The Bush administration has screwed a lot of stuff up through malice, mendacity, or just plain incompetence. On a question like Pakistan, though, I think you do need to concede that the issue is genuinely difficult. On the other hand, years after 9/11 I think it's clear that what we're doing isn't working: "The United States is continuing to make large payments of roughly $1 billion a year to Pakistan for what it calls reimbursements to the country’s military for conducting counterterrorism efforts along the border with Afghanistan, even though Pakistan’s president decided eight months ago to slash patrols through the area where Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are most active."

For a long time, though, I agreed with people who thought there was no real alternative to propping up Musharraf and sort of hoping for the best. This Blake Hounshell article from a while back convinced me that was wrong.