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The World’s Most Dangerous Place

April 15, 2009

The Economist has a troubling story about the recent history of Pakistan and its struggle to handle Islamist extremists, many of whom took up residence there after the US commenced its military efforts against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Violence and terrorist attacks are up and,

A recent report for the Atlantic Council, an American think-tank, gave warning that “time is running out” for Pakistan. Separately, David Kilcullen, an adviser to the Bush administration, has said Pakistan might face “internal collapse” within six months. Mr Obama has dubbed the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier the world’s most dangerous place. Yet Pakistani officials criticise America for conducting a “transactional relationship” with Pakistan and demand that it shift towards a strategic alliance. America’s coffer of goodies is big: $1.5 billion in aid for each of the next five years and nearly $3 billion in counterinsurgency military aid. But mutual distrust prevails. American officials deem Mr Zardari corrupt and impotent, and accuse military intelligence of colluding with the Taliban.

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