Obama’s Pakistan Nightmare

The Taliban’s slow-motion march to the Pakistani capital is creating an unappetizing menu of options for the Obama administration—one of several foreign-policy crises seemingly destined to get worse fast. 

by Reihan Salam
The Daily Beast

Pakistan’s Swat Valley is best known as a lush, gorgeous resort, about as close to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad as East Hampton is to New York. Only now the Swat Valley has been overrun by crazed, bearded Taliban intent on turning one of the most beautiful corners of the world into a medieval hell. To understand the psychological impact on Pakistan’s whiskey-loving elite, consider what might happen if survivalist guerrillas had wrested control of Long Island’s most beautiful beaches from the federal government and started beheading any soldiers and civilians who dared get in their way. Yet Pakistan’s military has essentially ceded the Swat Valley to the Taliban, and the militants have continued to press forward, inching closer to Pakistan’s biggest cities. Keep that in mind as Asif Ali Zardari, the president of Pakistan, meets with President Barack Obama this week in Washington.

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