Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Pakistan: On the Verge of a Breakdown

The country that poses the greatest threat to U.S. security may be neither of those in which the U.S. is embroiled. Beset by feckless leadership, riven by class divisions, preoccupied with its rivalry with India and dotted with militant groups that claim sprawling hinterlands as theirs, Pakistan devolved into a miasma of terrorism and political malaise. The death of firebrand Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in an August drone strike ratcheted up the stakes. After months of planning, Pakistan launched Operation Path to Deliverance in October, sending 28,000 troops into insurgent-infested South Waziristan to confront a confederation of militant groups. As threatened, extremists responded by unleashing a torrent of attacks throughout the country.