I am visiting Washington DC for a week and no I am not with the presidential entourage as I have been asked this question by nearly everyone I met here. Being a working journalist, a freelance columnist with three columns a week and a casual appearance in TV talk shows are not the only criteria for being selected for accompanying the president or the prime minister on their state visits abroad. You must have the nuisance value of being a volatile critic or an ardent fan of either or both the president and the prime minister. I am but a humble defence and (neutral) political analyst. But then I am digressing. Having been exposed to violent bouts of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, threats of hot pursuit of terrorists, disclosure of authorisation by President Bush for US forces to attack targets within Pakistan, the incessant violation of Pakistani airspace by US Predator UAVs and occasional attacks by their Hellfire missiles and the havoc and uproar they have been creating in the tribal area and the Pakistani media, led me to believe that Pakistan must be the topic of hot debate in the US media. Alas that is not true Much that I would like to believe in the ethnocentricity of Pakistan, the world and specially USA has much more important themes to discuss than Pakistan. The address in the UN by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, his subsequent appearance on the Larry King Live shows, the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh amid frantic efforts to win US Congressional support for the two countries' nuclear accord, which eked through Congress with a slender lead after an unusual extra day of sitting on Saturday with bi-partisan support now just needs the backing of the Senate which may vote next week on the issue. There was brief mention of President Zardari's speech at the UN but then there was much more on his meeting with the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and his much talked about compliments to Ms Palin. The entire media space in USA is being hogged by the financial crisis and the presidential elections; both being intertwined. So much so that the first debate between the presidential candidates Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, nearly did not take place since McCain thought the crisis was so serious that resolution of the $700billion bail-out plan to rescue the US economy was more important than political canvassing. During the First debate, which took place on September 26 and was supposed to be on Foreign Policy, the first forty minutes of the 90 minute sparring contest were dedicated to questions on the US economy. If it is any comfort, Pakistan did get mentioned in the debate, but for the wrong reasons. McCain, while defending Obama's parry regarding the Republican government's support for military dictator General Musharraf, retorted that "in 1999 Pakistan was a failed state" and General Musharraf had rescued Pakistan. "Failed state in 1999?" Come on Mr McCain Both wannabe presidential rivals had similar stances regarding tackling militants on the Pakistan side of the border. The difference being in semantics. Obama, appearing more hawkish, wants to have a go at them, blaming Pakistan for the much parroted "not doing enough" clich; while McCain also wants to go after them through the Pakistani military but would do the needful if required. That is cold comfort back home. The harsh reality is summed up in Washington Post's article titled: Pakistan looms large for next US administration. USA may be caught up in the web of its own problems economic recession, mounting unemployment, soaring energy crisis among others but it can only turn a cold shoulder towards Pakistan at its own peril. The clear and present danger in Pakistan is a consequence of the Global War On Terror, and has entangled Pakistan deeply in its web. The economic crunch, the unemployment, the deprivation and poverty resulting from the relentless exposure to attacks by the militants, by ISAF troops and Pakistani security forces, heightened by internecine tribal warfare and complicated by alleged involvement of RAW are all catalysts for an explosive situation. Add to it Pakistan's nuclear capability. With this background if the US is considering opening a new front in addition to the theatres of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is a certain recipe for disaster; no matter from where one views the situation from Washington or Islamabad? The writer is a political and defence analyst