INSS Insight No. 259, May 29, 2011
Schweitzer, Yoram and Barak, Dan
The killing of Osama Bin Laden by American Navy SEALs forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan in early May represents a new peak in the ongoing tension between the United States and Pakistan regarding the issue of combating terror in general, and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas within Pakistan’s sovereign territory in particular. Nevertheless, at this stage, the two sides are avoiding an irreparable divide based on their clear mutual interests: Pakistan needs the economic support of the United States and aims to prevent unilateral American backing for India, Pakistan’s bitter rival, and the United States needs comprehensive Pakistani assistance in the war against regional and international terrorist elements – the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and al-Qaeda – whose ability to act against the interests of the United States is dependent, to a large extent, on Pakistan’s policy toward them.