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What we have a hard time acknowledging for ourselves, we urge our Pakistani friends to concede. From Jane Perlez’s piece about how the Punjabi anti-Indian terrorist groups nurtured by the Pakistani military have deepened operational ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda:

The senior personnel in the security forces seem to understand the gravity of the militants’ strength and the durability of their network, Mr. Saleem said. But they cannot bring themselves to say publicly that those whom they created are coming back to bite them, he said.

This is much much harder for Pakistan because those organizations are broadly popular. Mr. Saleem is a pollster. A significant (undefined, but when I get back from what I’ve got to do today I’ll look up that latest Pak opinion poll that recently made the rounds) proportion of Pakistanis believe, Saleem told Perlez, “America is in the region and the Pakistani Army is fighting for an American army and the jihadis have a right to retaliate.” Whether or not the extremely-unpopular-due-to-misconceptions Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package will help change minds over the course of its five years, it starts from a very deep hole.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman