Ten years ago, the worlds most powerful country - United States of America - was attacked for the first time, since its strike on Pearl Harbour during World War II. It dropped nuclear bombs on two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when Japan was on the verge of surrendering; the objective was to humiliate the Japanese as a nation. Yet, they continue to be humbled as the US troops are still stationed on their soil. Ever since, Washingtons psyche has not changed much. Then during the 9/11 attacks, American civil aviation aircrafts were used as missiles. The hijackers belonged to the Middle Eastern countries; some of them learnt their aviation related skills in American flight training schools. After the incident, although the Taliban government agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden for an independent trial in a third country, yet the US chose to attack Afghanistan. There are varying views about the causes leading to this decision, all supported by logic; some of these are rather incriminating. Nevertheless, America was sure to react violently, like a wounded bear, and it did so employing disproportionate military power. Unfortunately, it continues to do so. The US is now arm-twisting the Afghan government to allow it to establish a permanent military base in the country. But the Afghans are made of a different fibre; they are cousins of yesteryears Vietcong. The current surge of violence indicates their determination to fight till the presence of the last foreign soldier on their soil. While the Twin Towers were still smouldering, President George Bush served an ultimatum to the nations around the globe: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. He also spoke of embarking on a new crusade. Although under pressure the President soon abandoned the terminology, yet the spirit of crusade has prevailed since then. So, Pakistan was coerced into a war through multidimensional pressures: The UN resolutions, naked American threats, and the deployment of full Indian military might along our eastern border on the pretext of the attack on Lok Sabha engineered through a false flag operation. The only viable option the US had to attack Afghanistan was through Pakistan. If it had not agreed, India was ever ready to afford an all-out support, including military bases and intelligence sharing. So, allowing US-India collusion would have resulted in our airspace and land violation; even our territorial integrity could have been at risk. India would have been delighted with such a response. Pakistan, therefore, hardly had a viable alternative option. Given the pressures, the initial decision to side with America was correct, though we sold ourselves rather cheap. If our negotiators could hold their feet on the ground, the Americans would have given anything in exchange; there was hardly any substantial gain that we could not have extracted from them. Because what we gave was phenomenal; air bases, liberal use of airspace and provision of land supply routes were concessions of strategic dimension. Keeping India off our back was our key demand; America did this with the wink of an eye. In all probability, America encouraged India to deploy and then to remain deployed without firing a shot. With this setting, Pakistani military and intelligence focus shifted towards the eastern border, while the American troops had a field day along our Western border. Then our military ruler was mired deep in a legitimacy crisis; he was interested in supporting America just to prolong his rule. On USAs behest, his exiled political rivals were hosted by friendly countries. President Pervez Musharraf was assured continuity in power, so he faithfully surrendered the national pride; accruing American pleasure was his priority and the rest became secondary. Those who expressed a difference of opinion were promptly shown the door; rest got the message. Later, the Taliban government fell after the invasion of the US/NATO forces by the end of 2001. The foreign troops had no reason to stay on. However, intoxicated with their quick fix, the Americans embarked upon a spree of Mission Creep. From now on America was poised to behave in Asia akin to a bull in China house. The Pakistani leadership became a pliant partner in its designs. Proxy arrests and renditions became the order of the day. Many innocent people ended up in Guantanamo Bay; while some criminals from the prison were sent to Pakistan to create chaos in the country. American funding of separatists, media personnel, academics and opinion makers was rather obvious. Objective was to make Pakistani public believe that Pakistan was a weak state that has no other option, except to do American bidding; as all this happened, we chose to look the other way. Acceptance of Blackwater mercenaries, spies under the garb of trainers, freelance contractors of the Raymond Davis class, tolerance of drone attacks, and the liberal visa policy for the Americans in the face of a humiliating reciprocal policy are, indeed, some of the points of our national shame. Another dimension came to the fore when the US got into a delusion that it could prop up India as a pliant regional bully. Hence, a US-India nexus mushroomed rather speedily with an anti-Pakistan focus. Then on, American policy towards Pakistan pegged around 'tactical ease and strategic squeeze. India was projected as an emerging superpower; it was liberally compensated for services rendered to the Americans in the form of yearlong military deployment along Pakistani border. Agreement 123, support for Indias permanent berth in the UNSC, prompting a Pakistan specific Fissile Material Management regime were some of the landmark developments that triggered the survival instinct among our intelligentsia; it soon became a public intuition. The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010 report is quite instructive: the war on terror has cost the country more than 35,000 citizens, 3,500 security personnel, destruction of infrastructure, internal migration of millions of people from parts of northwestern Pakistan, erosion of investment climate, nose-diving of production, growing unemployment and above all (has) brought economic activity to a virtual standstill in many parts of the country. Net economic loss is estimated at $70 billion, while the bulk of the money that America pledged never reached Pakistan. These factors made the Pakistanis ponder over the cost-benefit analysis of this one-way traffic with the Americans. Trust crumbled and with tensions now running high, it is clear that Pakistan increasingly views America as more of a foe than a friend. Despite being the biggest facilitator for the US operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan has ended up as a punching bag. Hostility towards the US has grown, reaching new heights after its ambush to kill Osama. This cowardly action was aimed at humiliating Pakistanis as a nation, akin to the Japanese nation, breed public perception of insecurity and project 'helplessness of the armed forces. A recent Pew survey found that 69 percent Pakistanis saw the US as an enemy and 47 percent were very worried about a military threat from Washington. America is believed to be after Pakistans nuclear assets. Pakistanis believe that by creating chaos in the country, America wants to prove that Pakistan is an unstable state and cannot secure its nuclear weapons. Thus, the international community should take control of these weapons. Washington and Islamabad have reached a point of strategic divergence. America has lost the goodwill of Pakistanis for times to come, but Pakistan is in a win-win situation in the Afghan endgame. The writer is a retired Air Commodore and former assistant chief of air staff of the Pakistan Air Force. At present, he is a member of the visiting faculty at the PAF Air War College, Naval War College and Quaid-i-Azam University. Email:khalid3408@gmail.com