President Obama knows too well that every partnership has a price. Pakistan has already paid more than its due share.
In a tribal belt with widespread illiteracy and few jobs, militants exploit drone attacks to recruit, and there are fears that Pakistan's perceived role undercuts its own counter-insurgency campaign against homegrown radicals.
Somewhat predictably, the episode involving the relatively wealthy Abdulmutallab prompted some to complain yet again that it is nonsense to even suggest that poverty or powerlessness helps to breed the resentment that feeds jihadist flames. That seems roughly analogous to experiencing an unseasonably cold spell and citing it as incontrovertible evidence that global warming is a hoax.
The US can do all sorts of tactical measures to secure its homeland from terrorism, but unless it makes a strategic shift in its global policies, it will never rid itself of the threat from extremist militants. For some strange reason there seems to be a total lack of acceptance by the US policy makers, especially Congress, of the impact of their policies including their tactical knee-jerk measures relating to security, that it is at the strategic level where the problem lies.
The alliance with the US needs to be reassessed and the Pakistan military should make it clear to the US that it can take care of its own problem if the US stays out and does not exacerbate it.