"Pakistan once had plenty of company in battling the polio scourge. As recently as 1988, the disease was endemic to 125 countries, paralyzing or killing 350,000 people each year--mostly children. Thanks to exhaustive medical, philanthropic and political teamwork, the virus has been routed, corralled into only three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In 2012, there were only 215 cases worldwide. Only one other time in human history has a disease--smallpox--been wiped out in the wild. Polio, that fearsome crippler of children, scourge of peasants and Presidents, could soon become the second, unless the entire crusade, so close to completion, itself becomes a casualty of war."