Gen. Pervez Musharraf's declaration of martial law was a wake-up call for Washington, leaving the future alliance with the Pakistani president in question.
Even before Saturday's crackdown, U.S. State Department officials said they had struggled with what to do if Musharraf went through with his threat. They didn't know then, and they don't know now.
"Frankly, it ain't easy," one official said. "We are looking at our options, and none of them are good."
The United States has pushed for Musharraf to shed his army uniform and hold elections by January. And it repeatedly has told him that his cooperation in the war on terror is not a replacement for democratic reforms. Watch why the U.S. is disappointed with Musharraf
But officials acknowledge any U.S. response will boil down to one thing: al Qaeda. Read full article »