Print This Post
1 May 2011, Foreign Affairs

Getting the military out of Pakistani politics

Pakistan is unlikely to collapse anytime soon, but the imbalance of power between its civilian and military branches needs to be addressed if it is to become an effective modern state. Washington must stop coddling Pakistan’s military and instead work patiently to support the country’s civilian authorities.

post image

The United States has a major stake in Pakistan’s stability, given the country’s central role in the U.S.-led effort to, in U.S. President Barack Obama’s words, “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” al Qaeda; its war-prone rivalry with India over Kashmir; and its nuclear arsenal. As a result, U.S. policy toward Pakistan has been dominated by concerns for its stability—providing the reasoning for Washington’s backing of the Pakistani military’s frequent interventions in domestic politics—at the expense of its democratic institutions. But as the recent eruption of protests in the Middle East against U.S.-backed tyrants has shown, authoritarian stability is not always a winning bet.

This article was originally published by Foreign Affairs. You can read the rest of the article here.

You can read exclusive content from Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, here.

Copyright © 2011 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.


TAGGED UNDER: , , , , , , , , ,