Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Our Ally Pakistan

There really does seem to be some serious confusion about terms like ally. This term is applied to other governments and as such it is important to remember that other governments have their own interests. Being an ally does not mean that a country's government is the same as or a blind follower of its ally. It also is not a static relationship.

Questions can certainly be raised as the the level of alliance and whether it is in our interest to continue. "Our interest" is key wording and that follows through to the other side of an alliance. I'm not in a position to analyze all the levels of our alliance with Pakistan but there are a couple aspects that certainly are public - like the fact that we are also allied with India who isn't Pakistan's friend. I'm pretty sure Pakistan understands the limits of alliance and that the Obama Administration understands the limits - it is a lot less clear who else does.

I'm not making a case that our government doesn't need to take a good look at our relationship with Pakistan on a continuing basis or that OBL's location shouldn't be troubling. I am trying to make clear that people need to understand that each government has its own interests and that alliances don't automatically trump those. As some of our other alliances past and present show - we're willing to overlook quite a bit in the service to some of our interests. I could point to Mubarak's Egypt until recently.

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