Pakistan and America have been gripped together in a deadly embrace for decades. For half a century American presidents from both parties pursued narrow short-term interests in Pakistan. This myopia actually backfired in the long term, helping to destabilize the political landscape and radicalizing the population, setting the stage for the global jihad we face today. Bruce Riedel, one of America's foremost authorities on U.S. security and South Asia, sketches the history of U.S.-Pakistani relations from partitioning of the subcontinent in 1947 up through the present day.It is muddled story, meandering through periods of friendship and enmity. Riedel deftly interprets the tortuous path of relations between two very different nations that remain, in many ways, stuck with each other.The Preface to the paperback provides an inside account of the discovery of Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad hideout that led to the al Qaeda leader's demise. Accusations of Pakistani complicity in harbouring bin Laden once again dramatized the ambivalence and distrust existing between two nations that purport to be allies. Riedel discusses what it all means for the war on terror and the future of U.S.- Pakistani relations.
Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, USA. A long time CIA officer, he was a senior adviser to four U.S. presidents, and in 2009 he chaired an interagency review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Obama administration. He is also the author of The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future (Brookings).