This article appears in a special volume of the
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science titled “Terrorism: What the Next President Will Face”.
Pakistan almost uniquely is both a major victim of terrorism and a major sponsor of terrorism. It has been the scene of horrific acts of terrorist violence, including the murder of Benazir Bhutto, and it has been one of the most prolific state sponsors of terror aimed at advancing its national security interests. Over the course of the past three decades, Pakistan’s army has built a complex network of relationships with numerous jihadist terror groups, including the Taliban, and with terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Fear of India is the driving force behind the army’s pursuit of these relationships. For the next American president, there is no issue or country more critical to get right, which means developing a policy that will move Pakistan away from being a hothouse of terror. Engaging Kashmir should be part of that new approach.
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For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.