Winds of Change comments on the anti-Musharraf movement and asks whether US policy towards Pakistan isn't in rigor mortis. "Almost six years after 9/11, the substantial failure of the pact with Gen Musharraf is plain for everyone to see. Osama bin Laden remains at large, the Taliban are back in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, the A Q Khan network is believed to be in operation and the one thing the deal was supposed to avoid---severe political instability in nuclear-armed Pakistan---is at hand."
Meanwhile, the Newspost India, quoting the New York Times, reported the United States is paying Pakistan roughly $1 billion a year for what it calls reimbursements to the country's military for conducting counter-terrorism efforts along the border with Afghanistan.
Some American military officials in the region have recommended that the money be tied to Pakistan's performance in pursuing Al Qaeda and keeping the Taliban from gaining a haven from which to attack the government of Afghanistan. American officials have been surprised by the speed at which both organisations have gained strength in the past year, the daily said.
Recent reports say Iraqis in the field are doing better than than the dysfunctional political structures in the Green Zone. Iraq highlights the difficulties, but also the advantages of having direct American access to the field. One of the most difficult tasks any foreign mission can face is working through established, but corrupt institutions of a sovereign government. Foreign advisers often use control over resources as leverage to influence counterparts to make things happen in the field. Unfortunately as the resources are released to the host government the balance of influence often gradually but inexorably shifts to the locals. Moreover the local foreign ministry can go over the local mission's head and advisers can find themselves having to implement a policy crafted by locals who have managed to out-sell them back home.
Can America work effectively through the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan to fight terror? Can it work through the Palestinian Liberation Authority to achieve peace? Working through counterparts has its own set of challenges. Nothing is easy.