Pakistan has an "important role in the security and stability of the region, a Pentagon report says and identifies economic instability, resource scarcity, and illicit trafficking as factors that imperil the country's future.
The Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR), which shapes the policy of the Pentagon for the next four years, says a secure and stable Pakistan is vital to US national security, the region, and the world.
"For these reasons, the United States has committed to a long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interests and joint efforts," the report, released by Defence Secretary Robert Gates, said. It said the the US also recognises that Pakistan is at the geopolitical crossroads of South and Central Asia, giving it an important regional role in security and stability.
"Extremism, economic instability, resource scarcity, and illicit trafficking all imperil Pakistan's future. A secure, stable Pakistan is vital to US national security."
The QDR said US' priority is to "disrupt, dismantle, and defeat" al-Qaeda globally and particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent it from threatening America and its allies in the future. "We must continue to find new ways to meet the pressing needs of our forces engaged in these important operations as we complete a responsible drawdown in Iraq and implement the new strategy in Afghanistan," it said.