Traditionally the United States has had a strong relationship with Pakistan’s military. And Pakistan’s military has had a proclivity for overthrowing the civilian government, and for operating itself autonomously even while civilians are formally in charge. And their strong relationship with the US was part and parcel of how that works. More recently, the US has been trying to turn over a new leaf and build a broader relationship with Pakistan aimed at improving ordinary Pakistanis’ view of the United States and bolstering civilian governance.
Meanwhile, via Jason Zengerle, Farah Stockman writes that Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington hasn’t been home in eight months because he’s afraid of being targeted by physical violence aimed at charging him with being too pro-American:
Samina Ahmed, an Islamabad-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the attacks on Haqqani were carefully orchestrated by the military to weaken the government he represents. She predicted more will come.
“These are the first rumblings of the storm,” she said. “This is the beginning of the military trying to take down this civilian government.”
If I were the Pakistani military I would, official statements to the contrary aside, be skeptical that American policymakers would actually follow through on threats to seriously oppose a coup.