Pakistan: A Continuing Crisis, an Uncertain Future

Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Pakistan is home to some of the world’s most treacherous borders, armed with nuclear weapons, and beset by terrorist bombings and assassinations. NATO’s recent deadly air strike on two Pakistani frontier outposts has added to the uncertainty of continued U.S.-Pakistan cooperation. Multiple crises befell this critical relationship during the past year—from the repatriation of CIA contractor Raymond Davis to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and the resignation of Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States after “memogate.” If relations between the United States and Pakistan continue to deteriorate, what will be the effect on policies Islamabad pursues? How will thawing relations with India impact Pakistan’s foreign policy agenda? Will President Zardari’s civilian government survive, or is another military coup on the horizon?

Speaker Bio


C. Christine Fair, “Pakistan’s Slow-Motion Coup,” Foreign Policy, 01/05/2012

Ahmed Rashid, “Can Pakistan step back from the brink?” BBC, 01/02/2012

Hassan Abbas, “How Obama Can Fix U.S.-Pakistani Relations,” Foreign Affairs, 12/21/2011

Stephen P. Cohen, “Pakistan: No Friend and a Fading Ally,” Brookings Institution’s Up Front Blog, 12/05/2011

After Deadly Raid, How Can Pakistan, U.S. Ease Tensions?” PBS NewsHour, 11/28/2011

Learn more about Cohen's latest book

Watch Cohen’s interview on “Pakistan’s Future in Question,” 12/02/2011

Additional Information

His latest book, The Future of Pakistan, will be available for purchase and signing following the program.