In the short term, the United States should implement a two-phase strategy to insist on real change in Pakistan’s hostile policies.
To preclude Pakistan from manipulating different departments and senior officials, the Obama administration, as a united front, should offer a stark set of positive and negative inducements. A clear choice will clarify whether Pakistan’s intentions in Afghanistan are principally guided by fear or by ambition.
In exchange for Pakistan playing a constructive role in Afghanistan, the United States should be willing to: support expanded IMF and other multilateral assistance; sustain financial and military aid; and promote a major, multilateral diplomatic effort to mediate disputes among Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The initial focus must be accepting a reasonable agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan and reconciliation with Pakistan-backed insurgents who accept U.S. red lines, followed by an India-Pakistan peace and normalization process. We should also support multilateral investment in infrastructure projects that would integrate Pakistan in regional commerce.
If positive inducements prove insufficient in securing reliable Pakistani cooperation, the United States should curb military assistance; mobilize coordinated financial pressure against Pakistan through allies and the IMF; and expand military operations against insurgent and terrorist targets in Pakistan.