President Obama promised to restore the international image of the United States, but the recent NATO airstrike that killed Pakistani soldiers comes as a historic setback, at least in Pakistan, to judge from remarks made by Army Gen. Martin. E. Dempsey to British media today.
Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the average Pakistani’s respect for the United States is lower than ever. “[The average Pakistani who] doesn’t know the United States, doesn’t read about the United States or just watches something on television about the United States, at that level, [the relations] are probably the worst they’ve ever been,” he explained, according to the American Forces Press Service.
He added that the relationship between the U.S. government and Pakistan’s government is “on about as rocky a road as I’ve seen.”
The general expressed limited optimism for rebuilding that relationship. “I think if we understand the seriousness with which this event is being viewed in Pakistan, and they understand we are taking it seriously, then I think we will have at least the beginnings of a opportunity to find our way through it,” he suggested.