Unlike Mr. Musharraf — who was a ready if not always effective ally of the United States in its war on terror — the new elected coalition has so far been unwilling or unable to confront the expanding Taliban insurgency, which seems determined to topple the government.This is an interesting formulation, for as nearly as I can tell, Mr. Musharraf told the Americna government that he would help and then didn't, whereas the new somewhat-ruling coalition tells the American government that it probably won't help, and anyway lacks the capability. Now. If the United States were actually interested in confronting the Taliban et al. in the Afghan-Pakistani border regions, it would presumably desire national governments that both tell the truth about their own intentions and tell the truth about what they will or will not allow Americans to do within their national borders. If, on the other hand, the United States were uninterested in confronting al Qaeda et al., but instead sought only a series of ongoing, low-level conflicts to justify increased military spending and procurement, the tightening of central authority at home, the long-term occupation (see "increased military spending and procurement") of foreign nations, etc., then it would of course be preferable to have an ally who was a liar. IOZ, you conspiracist, are you suggesting that the United States would intentionally foment conflicts to feed the war machine and to sanctify the Necessary Police State? Why I never . . .