High Hopes, Great Disappointments: U.S.-Pakistan Relations Under Obama

President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meet in the Oval Office, Washington, Oct. 22, 2015 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).
President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meet in the Oval Office, Washington, Oct. 22, 2015 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).
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Earlier this year, in Jeffrey Goldberg’s extended profile of President Barack Obama and his views on U.S. foreign policy, Pakistan was barely mentioned, except for one striking reference. Obama, Goldberg wrote, “privately questions why Pakistan, which he believes is a disastrously dysfunctional country, should be considered an ally of the U.S. at all.” Obama’s view is ironic, because he tried hard to strengthen Washington’s relations with Islamabad. The Obama administration came into office hoping to transform the relationship from a transactional, security-focused arrangement into a deeper, strategic partnership. His efforts, however, have largely proved unsuccessful. Obama’s Pakistan policy was doomed […]

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