By M K Bhadrakumar
"The George W Bush administration lost no time reiterating its support of President Pervez Musharraf following the February 18 parliamentary elections. There is bipartisan consensus in Washington that in the given circumstances, the United States has very little leeway other than depending on Musharraf and the Pakistani military....
Unsurprisingly, taking all factors into account, the Bush administration has concluded that Musharraf is a "known factor" and it is prudent to depend on him to lead Pakistan through the difficult period ahead. This approach has serious limitations insofar as in the medium and long term it is only a democratically elected government that can effectively counter militancy and terrorism. But, then, the Bush administration simply does not have the luxury of taking a long-term perspective.
A failure in Afghanistan would be a severe setback to NATO's aspirations to emerge as a global political organization. It will impact on the US's trans-Atlantic leadership role. Those who clamor for the Bush administration to review its decision to back Musharraf overlook the great urgency of the situation......"