On Monday I wrote that the answer to whether or not the US can trust Pakistan can be found in the answer to a related question: Can Pakistan trust the US? Like an iterated prisoner’s dilemma, each side is searching for an equilibrium of cooperation despite a past of defections. The Tuesday New York Times article speculating that the US wants to expand raids over the Pakistani border didn’t help matters, instead seeming to confirm Pakistani fears of American duplicity. While the US immediately rejected the Times report, the US needs to give more than verbal assurances to our Pakistani allies. We need to give helicopters.
We have pointed out more than once the problem with media coverage of the flood crisis in Pakistan and the outcomes of this problematic coverage – a lack of attention to the problem that hurts fundraising for relief and recovery efforts, and gives the impression that the US is not concerned with Pakistan’s struggles, despite this being a top priority of the US government. Last week’s edition of Time Magazine exemplifies this media failure.