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Pakistan--Conflicted Ally in the War on Terror

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While today's move by Pervez Musharraf to step down as Pakistan's army chief may assuage some tensions in the embattled nation, the resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban both in and around Pakistan continues to pose an enormous security threat and reflects the greatest reversal suffered by the United States since operations against them began in 2001. Many blame the Musharraf regime for not doing more to combat terrorism, despite receiving significant U.S. aid, but in a new report Carnegie Endowment Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis contends that if the United States wants a stronger Pakistani commitment to the "War on Terror," it must first recognize that Pakistan's poor performance cannot be attributed simply to malfeasance by Pakistan's military elite.

In Pakistan--Conflicted Ally in the War on Terror, Tellis argues that Pakistani counterterrorism efforts have been impeded by Islamabad's military ineptitude, Pakistan's political deterioration, a lack of public support for "Washington's war," and the ineffective Afghan government. He says that the majority of Pakistani military officials, despite fears over domestic repercussions and long-term U.S. interests in the region, support operations aimed at defeating terrorism.