How should the slaying of Osama bin Laden a stone's throw from Pakistan's premier military academy, in a garrison town barely 40 miles from the nation's capital, shape our understanding of that Islamic republic?
At first glance, nothing has changed. That Pakistan has been Janus-faced in its approach to fighting terrorism is hardly news. Nor can longstanding mutual suspicion between Washington and Islamabad, which in recent months has curdled into public recrimination by top military officials from both sides, be expected to disappear. According to U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, Pakistani officials were not informed of the mission to kill bin Laden until American aircraft had exited Pakistan's airspace. Meanwhile, as the fighting season kicks off in Afghanistan, NATO forces again face the familiar prospect of the Afghan Taliban using Pakistan as a sanctuary from which to launch attacks.
Look closely, however, and Sunday's drama reveals a rare opportunity to press Pakistan's army toward sorely needed reform. The ultimate goal should be a country that gives up its love affair with pan-Islamic adventurism and reorients itself toward its people's well-being.
The full text of this article is available through The Wall Street Journal. It will be posted to AEI.org on Monday, May 9.
Sadanand Dhume is a resident fellow at AEI.