Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012

Ashfaq Kayani

Age: 59
Occupation: Chief of staff, Pakistani army

For most of Pakistan's history, a simple fact of political life has been that no matter who the voters choose, the army chief of staff always gets in. General Kayani doesn't officially govern, but he and his top brass make the national-security decisions that count. Relations with Washington remain at a perilously low ebb after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but restoring Kayani's cooperation will be critical to the U.S. prospect of leaving neighboring Afghanistan.