I have no particular insights on Pakistan policy, but I’m pretty sure that having “[t[he Obama administration’s senior diplomatic, military and intelligence officials deliver the bluntest warning to Pakistan’s leaders to date on Thursday, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned that Pakistan would face serious consequences if it continued to tolerate safe havens for extremist organizations that kill Americans” isn’t going to punch the ticket.
Here’s the shape of the problem, as I see it. Pakistan’s major national security threat is India. Pakistan’s interest in the United States is in obtaining support that can be used to guard against this threat. Based on the fundamentals, it would seem more likely for the US to side with India than with Pakistan both because of democracy and because of China. The reason the US tends to tilt toward Pakistan is that we want Pakistani cooperation against these safe havens. But that means that if Pakistan ever succeeded in solving the problem, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot and would lose our support. Stern warnings aren’t going to resolve the basic underlying dilemma.