What's the Latest Development?
The role played by Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, in the bombing of an American embassy in Kabul last month is only the latest demonstration of Pakistan's close ties to the Taliban and its desire to fill the power vacuum that America will inevitably leave behind it. "The Taliban for all real purposes are not an outgrowth or even a real affiliate of al Qaeda; the Taliban are an appendage of the ISI," says Steve Clemons, The Atlantic's Washington editor.
What's the Big Idea?
Independent of its ties to the Taliban, Pakistan has launched its own offensive in Afghanistan. In other words, as the US withdraws from the region, the future of Afghanistan will be Pakistan. A report from the Middle East Media Research Institute details Pakistan's sustained campaign inside Afghan borders which includes rocket attacks, military checkpoints and the issuing of Pakistani citizenship to foreign citizens along their shared border. The U.S. can do little while it depends on Pakistan to route supplies to troops in Afghanistan.