The Obama administration has decided to offer Pakistan more military, intelligence and economic support, and to intensify US efforts to forge a regional peace, despite ongoing frustration that Pakistani officials are not doing enough to combat terrorist groups in the tribal areas.
The decision to double down on Pakistan represents the administration's attempt to call the bluff of Pakistani officials who have long complained that the United States has failed to understand their security priorities or provide adequate support.
President Obama and his top national security aides rejected proposals, made by some military commanders and intelligence officials who have lost patience with Pakistan, to allow US ground forces to conduct targeted raids against insurgent safe havens, officials said. They concluded that the United States can ill afford to threaten or further alienate a precarious, nuclear-armed country whose cooperation is essential to the administration on several fronts.
The conclusions were referred to in a publicly released, five-page summary of the review as unspecified policy "adjustments." Several administration officials said that the classified review identified areas where stronger effort was needed rather than specific new programs.
Pakistan has complained in the past that promised US aid, currently projected to total more than $3 billion in 2011, has been slow to arrive and that requests for helicopters and other military equipment have remained unfulfilled.
On intelligence, the administration plans to address Pakistan's complaints that the Americans have not established enough outposts on the Afghan side of the border to stop insurgent infiltration, while pressing the Pakistanis to allow US and Afghan officials to staff border coordination centers inside Pakistan itself.
(In exclusive partnership with The Washington Post.)