Apropos of our earlier speculation about US-Pak relations, Jane Perlez has this set of tidbits in April 18 New York Times. Probably less than 5 percent of what's really going on.On Pat Lang's blog a regular contributor is FB Ali (I believe a retired Pakistani military man); his post today has the general outlines of the Times story, but with far more detail about the relationship between the three nations. A key paragraph here, but the whole is worth a read."Pakistan believes that both the US and Karzai have shown themselves to be more friendly towards India than Pakistan. Therefore, in pursuit of its security goal, it has tried to preserve the Afghan insurgency as a viable force in both the current war and the future peace, in order to influence through them the final outcome of the Afghan conflict. Believing that the US will ultimately tire of a long, inconclusive war and depart (and aware that it is likely to remain financially dependent on the US for quite some time), Pakistan has tried very hard to get the US to accept it as a strategic partner and guardian of US interests in the region (offering to help in satisfactorily ending the Afghan war and guaranteeing the resulting arrangement). However, instead of a partner the US has insisted on treating it as a client state, which riles the Pakistanis no end. On the other side, the US is royally ticked off that Pakistan doesnt behave as any half-decent client state should."

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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