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Politics & Current Affairs

The C.I.A., I.S.I. and Next Bin Laden

That Islamabad is a frenemy in the struggle against Islamist terrorism is causing consternation in Washington, as it should. It’s time to reevaluate the relationship, says John Schindler. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Osama bin Laden was killed by unilateral military operation in Abbottabad, a Pakistani city that hosts the country’s most elite military academy. President Obama gave orders that, should Pakistani military engage American troops during the operation, American troops were to return fire. After the operation, of which Pakistani authorities were unaware, its news media released the name of the Islamabad C.I.A. station chief. Clearly suspicions run deep on both sides of this relationship of convenience where America pays billions of dollars in aid money to ensure an ally in the fight against terrorism.

What’s the Big Idea?

Pakistan is one of the most anti-American countries on Earth, yet it remains a crucial ally because of America’s involvement in Afghanistan. And the perceived need America has to maintain its ally at all costs gives carte blanche to Pakistan’s authorities, particularly its intelligence service, to run roughshod over American directives. While this is not to say the C.I.A. doesn’t run its own renegade missions (it does), John Schindler questions whether the ailing Pakistani economy is more in need of American aid than America is in need of its rather dubious ally. 


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