The new American rhetoric on Pakistan, though rich in emotion and hyperbole, is riddled with serious flaws. The principal ingredient of this so-called new strategy is that there are going to be no blank cheques and all future assistance to the country is dependent on Pakistan doing much, much more. Outlining the new US policy, President Obama said: "Pakistan must demonstrate its commitment in rooting out Al-Qaeda and the violent extremists within its borders. And we will insist that action be taken, one way or another, when we have intelligence about high-level terrorist targets." In simple terms, it means that Pakistan must undertake its military operations in the tribal areas with enhanced intensity resulting in inflicting gruesome death and destruction. It means that Pakistan must continue to suffer the devastating effects of the retaliatory strikes by the militants throughout the country, causing irremediable damage to life and property. It means that the drone attacks would continue, even increase, as and when the US has 'actionable intelligence', Pakistan's approval or disapproval notwithstanding. It means that the US would get the Indians involved even more in Afghanistan in a role, or roles, as the two countries may consider appropriate. It also, inter alia, means that Pakistan should forget about Kashmir and all its interests within the country, or in the region and should blindly submit to the new US diktat. The content, tone and tenor of the Obama proclamation further crystallised when, hours after the president's policy statement, three leading US generals and a key envoy incriminated Pakistan's premier spy outfit, Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI), of helping Al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists. Responding to a question whether America had evidence of ISI's involvement, the US National Security Advisor General James Jones said: "There are at least some questions that have to be resolved. If that's the case, we need to come to resolution with it. I think it is in Pakistan's interest to be very clear on the issue." Admiral Mullen claimed that the ISI had links with militants along both its Western border (with Afghanistan) and Eastern border (with India). Speaking in CNN's programme Situation Room, he said: "Fundamentally, the strategic approach with the ISI must change and their support for militants, along both borders, has to shift." In the same vein, General Patraeus accused that there was evidence that, in the fairly recent past, the ISI had tipped off militants when their positions were in danger: "There are some cases that are indisputable in which that appears to have taken place." In a PBS television interview, General Patraeus reiterated: "It is a topic that is of enormous importance because if there are links, and if those continue, and if it undermines the operations against the militants, obviously that would be very damaging to the kind of trust that we need to build." Not to be left behind, Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to the region, intoned that, of all issues, investigating the ISI was "the most important." He went on to say: "We cannot succeed if the two intelligence agencies (CIA and ISI) are at each other's throat, or don't trust each other, and if the kind of collusion (between the ISI and the militants) referred to is factual." President Obama's address, combined with the vitriolic outpourings of the US generals and Richard Holbrooke, constitute an open indictment of Pakistan and its intentions in the region. It is an attempt to de-fang Pakistan and then make it do as suits the US interests and those of its erstwhile allies in the region, most notably India. While the US may commit to extend US$ 1.5 billion in annual aid to Pakistan, of course dependent on it 'delivering' on the former's expectations, of critical concern is the bill relating to the creation of the proposed Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) along the Pak-Afghan border. Ostensibly, goods produced in these zones would be exported duty free to the United States. President Obama said: "The ROZs would develop the economy of the border region and bring hope to places plagued by violence." The move is definitely not as simple as it may appear. It is a penetrative attempt on the part of the US policymakers, together with their sidekick in the subcontinent, to alienate Pakistan's border areas from the mainstream country and develop them as sanctuaries for initiating US hegemonic activities in the region. In this context, not to be overlooked is the deep-set US discomfort with Pakistan possessing the nuclear weapons. Often in the past, and in spite of repeated assurances by the Pakistani leadership regarding a foolproof operational command system being in place, numerous American leaders and think tanks have speculated devastatingly on the havoc that these weapons could cause if secured by the militants. The duplicity of the US policy in the region is not hidden as it has legitimised the Indian nuclear weapons while it remains vocally and antagonistically sensitive to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Dealing with the devious and destructive militant mindset remains Pakistan's principal concern. It is also patently clear that going by the so-called peace deals in Swat and Malakand is not the way forward as has been so criminally and inhumanly evidenced by the public flogging of a seventeen years old girl for daring to step out of her home with a man who was not her husband. But the American recipe of continuing with the use of brutal state power to subdue any opposition would further perpetuate the crisis. While the hollowness of this approach has been proved substantially in the last seven years since it launched its operation in Afghanistan, the US seems obdurate in its belief that this may work in the end. Not to be forgotten is a recent chapter from the US history: its haughty and unbearable intransigence in Vietnam that ultimately forced its dishonourable retreat. Iraq is another example of a flawed policy that has only worked to further destabilise the region. Intoxicated with the venomous belief that it is the sole superpower in the world, crudely and insolently brandishing its might and weaponry, the ultimate outcome of this present engagement is expected to be no different from any of the US's previous misadventures. It would soon be forced to pull out of Afghanistan, as that remains the only way to end violence there. A voluntary retreat would be a preferred option though such wisdom is not in keeping with the US conduct in the past The writer is an independent political analyst based in Islamabad E-mail: raoofhasan@hotmail.com