Visting Islamabad today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has demanded that the Pakistani government take “further, specific action” against militants along its northern tribal areas, warning that any future attacks from the region “would have a very devastating impact on our relationship.”
Clinton’s visit is primarily about announcements of massive amounts of additional US aid to Pakistan, but as with every high profile US visit, it comes with additional demands for massive new military commitments.
Exactly how such commitments are even theoretically possible is always left unspoken. Pakistan already has some 200,000 soldiers committed to fighting in wars along its northern border, each of which it has launched on the basis of US demands.
Such offensives have sparked a dramatic backlash against the Pakistani government, and led to massive suicide bombings across the nation. Though the Zardari government can scarcely afford to ignore US demands, as it relies on US funding more or less for its survival, but it seems unlikely that they can commit any more soldiers to any more US-mandated wars.