Pakistan and America have been gripped together in a deadly embrace for decades. For half a century American presidents from both parties pursued narrow short-term interests in Pakistan. This myopia actually backfired in the long term, helping to destabilize the political landscape and radicalizing the population, setting the stage for the global jihad we face today.Bruce Riedel, one of America's foremost authorities on U.S. security and South Asia,sketches the history of U.S.-Pakistani relations from partitioning of the subcontinentin 1947 up through the present day. It is muddled story, meandering through periodsof friendship and enmity. Riedel deftly interprets the tortuous path of relationsbetween two very different nations that remain, in many ways, stuck with each other.The Preface to the paperback provides an inside account of the discovery of Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad hideout that led to the al Qaeda leader's demise.Accusations of Pakistani complicity in harboring bin Laden once again dramatizedthe ambivalence and distrust existing between two nations that purport to be allies.Riedel
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The Brookings Institution
February 24, 2012
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