Cover Story Overview

The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship in the Year Ahead
By Ahmed Rashid

In the past six months, a series of major incidents between the United States and Pakistan has brought their relationship to a new low. Although all of Pakistan’s international relationships are important, it is the one with the United States that is most critical to its future stability as well as the maintenance of peace in South Asia. A key question for the year 2012 will be whether the United States and Pakistan can rebuild a much abused relationship. This article will review the primary incidents that led to the worsening of relations in 2011, identify some U.S. missteps, warn of a number of flashpoints that could occur in 2012, and finally offer critical suggestions for how the U.S.-Pakistan relationship can be resuscitated in the months ahead.

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