Here’s a great profile of the relationship between Admiral Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, and General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff. The piece provides an excellent overview of the personal and geopolitical factors at play in US-Pakistani relations, and their cooperation (or lack thereof) in Afghanistan. It’s a flattering portrait of Pakistan’s most powerful man.

“On a flight from Islamabad to Kandahar that night, Mullen told reporters that he had once again been impressed by what he saw. “To see how much progress has been made–for all intents and purposes the insurgents are gone.” Asked to grade the Pakistani army’s counterinsurgency technique–which the United States has urged Kayani to employ in lieu of brute force that incurs collateral damage and breeds more insurgents–Mullen didn’t hesitate. “It’s exceptional. I give them an ‘A.’” Though Mullen was not able to visit South Waziristan, he was pleased by reports of progress there. “Kayani laid out this plan to me in early 2009. He has executed everything he said he was going to do,” Mullen said.”