Over the next five years, Pakistan's success as a stable state, measured along any dimension, is far from guaranteed, and in fact, the "normalization" of Pakistan remains doubtful. But unlike with other failed or failing states, the United States cannot afford to just ignore Pakistan or let it fail comprehensively.
Pakistan, Piece by Piece
Long seen as a country teetering on the edge of falling apart, Pakistan is now facing a number of gathering crises. While lasting solutions remain elusive, the consequences of state failure in Pakistan would be potentially catastrophic. Meanwhile, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, in the spotlight in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden, continues to be based on mutual need rather than on mutual trust.
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Articles in this feature
Increasingly scarce resources are driving Pakistan toward a crisis characterized by interlocking economic, political and security dimensions. Yet the dangers are poorly understood by the country's policy elite and the international community. In an age of resource constraints, Pakistan is a canary in the coal mine.
The United States and Pakistan have sustained a decades-old partnership on the strength of a Cold War alliance and a set of narrow but shared vital interests. However, the relationship has undergone profound changes as a result of the Afghan War, which on one hand has forced the two countries into an awkward but necessary embrace, and on the other exposed deep and potentially irreconcilable differences.