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U.S. and Pakistan: different wars on terror

One seeks domestic security, the other stability for Afghans.

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SOURCE:AP

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Tuesday at the United Nations President George Bush and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, reaffirmed the alliance of two nations that, in some respects, are fighting two different wars under the single banner of the war on terror.

The United States has recently stepped up missile attacks against targets in Pakistan as Washington becomes convinced that the Pakistani Army lacks either the will or ability to neutralize domestic terrorists. Yet Pakistanis counter that their Army is currently engaged in two offensives so large that they have displaced 300,000 people in areas bordering Afghanistan.

The different assessments of Pakistan's effort reflect the two nations' different goals in fighting terrorism. Pakistan wants peace within its borders. America prioritizes peace in Afghanistan, where security has deteriorated significantly this year. The two aims are not always congruous, and this disconnect is a fundamental part of rising tensions between the allies.

"Within the broader interest of fighting terrorism, their goals are divergent," says Moeed Yusuf, an analyst at Boston University.

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