Don't get me wrong. We have critical interests in Pakistan, mainly seeing that its nuclear arsenal stays intact. Radical Islam is growing. But is this edifice the best way to go?
Many games are being played. Some protesting thugs are professional agitators, no doubt. And Pakistani military and intelligence operatives are likely stirring the pot, keeping the pressure on us to deflect our pressure on them to be more aggressive against the militants.
The U.S. has been very unpopular among Pakistanis for a long time. Maybe it's inevitable, but it sure doesn't help when the average Pakistani must ask --"What are the Americans doing?" Americans, after all, would have similar concerns were the shoe on the other foot. Maybe more official U.S. personnel in Pakistan are needed --to oversee an expanded aid program-- but this has the feel of thoughtless bureaucratic expansion.
Cross-posted at the Foreign Intrigue blog.