Balancing the trinity: U.S. approaches to marginalizing Islamic militancy in Pakistan
Schneider, Erich B.
Gregg, Heather S.
Freeman, Michael E.
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Pakistan ranks among the top recipients of U.S. foreign aid in the world, yet accounts for nearly 20 percent of the terrorist groups identified on the U.S. State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. As a major non-NATO ally and valued U.S. partner in the Global War on Terrorism, Pakistan thus gives the appearance of being ineffective in its efforts to defeat Islamic extremism and militancy. This study aims to discover how the United States can better assist Pakistan to marginalize select militant Islamic groups that threaten regional and international security. Specifically, it investigates three possible strategies for mitigating violent extremism: counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and foreign aid. These strategies are used to analyze U.S. and Pakistani efforts to marginalize four terrorist groups since 2001: the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e- Tayyiba, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. This study offers suggestions for the United States and Pakistan to counter the effects of select militant Islamic groups through improved counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and foreign aid strategies. Additionally, this study provides general recommendations for enhancing the U.S.-Pakistan relationship by improving Pakistani security forces capabilities, disbursement of reliable U.S. foreign aid for economic development, and encouragement of Pakistans democratization process.
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