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The Future of U.S.-Pakistan Military Ties: Weathering the Strains of Regional Terrorism

Recorded on July 22, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

As attacks against coalition forces in Eastern Afghanistan intensify and Pakistan grapples with its own burgeoning Taliban insurgency in the tribal borderlands, U.S.-Pakistan military ties are facing new challenges.  More aggressive coalition counterinsurgency tactics in Eastern Afghanistan are bringing U.S. troops closer to the border with Pakistan and require ever closer communication and joint efforts to strengthen counterterrorism cooperation.  Moreover, U.S. frustration with an entrenched terrorist safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas and lack of faith in the efficacy of Pakistani negotiations to deal with the problem also are creating misunderstanding and crossed wires.  In this charged atmosphere, what are the future prospects for addressing terrorism challenges on a joint basis?  Should the U.S. shift its strategy vis-à-visPakistan?  What can be expected from Pakistan in the near and long-term?  How can both sides build trust in each other and strengthen the chances of overall success against the terrorist scourge in South Asia?