The Obama administration will need to outline a vision for defeating extremism in Pakistan. While the United States should develop the policy in agreement with the government of Pakistan, it must include contingencies if the government of Pakistan is unable or unwilling to implement a strategy. The United States needs to assist the Pakistanis in changing their focus and strategic calculus through reducing tensions with India and Afghanistan, and in supporting capacity building in Pakistani counterinsurgency and counterterrorism capabilities. Dismantling militant groups will require determined military action in some cases, such as with Al Qaeda, but political reconciliation may be required with other militant groups, including some Taliban with local political objectives. The U.S. government will need to coordinate this strategy with a larger development strategy.
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