U.S. Hits Pakistan’s Wallet

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The U.S.-Pakistani relationship is continuing its fast downward spiral. The Pakistani government has expelled over 100 American advisors and is demanding the closure of a base used for drone strikes. The U.S., fed up with Pakistani duplicity, is now withhholding $800 million in military aid. The U.S. needs to prepare for the day when the Pakistanis fully cease their meager cooperation.

The cut equals about one-third of the $2.7 billion in military assistance given to Pakistan annually. About $300 million of it was supposed to reimburse the Pakistanis for deploying forces to the border with Afghanistan, an action any responsible government would have done on its own. The decision came after Pakistan further restricted counter-terrorism cooperation, including ending a program to train paramilitary forces in the tribal areas. The Pakistanis are also asking the U.S. to leave the Shamsi Air Base where drones are dispatched from, and have forced out over 100 U.S. trainers while limiting the visas for other personnel.

At the same time, there is a row over a statement by Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen said that the Pakistani government “sanctioned”  the torture and killing of Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani journalist who reported on terrorist infiltration of the military and ISI intelligence service. Shahzad had received threats from the ISI for three years, and the Obama Administration believes the intelligence agency is behind his death. The Pakistani government is outraged. The ambassador to the U.S. says that a commission to investigate his murder has been established, and the U.S. should pass along any information it has. The Information Minister said Mullen’s statement was “extremely irresponsible and unfortunate.”

The Obama Administration initially tried to use the death of Osama Bin Laden, and the embarrassment of his safe haven in Pakistan, to get the Pakistani government to become more cooperative. In President Obama’s speech announcing that Bin Laden had been killed, he said “It’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to Bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.” He characterized Pakistan as an enemy of the terrorists. The deterioration in relations since the raid has forced a change in policy.

Pakistani support for the War on Terror has always fallen far short of what should be expected from an “ally.” Deputy Director of the CIA Michael J. Morell was asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee to rate Pakistani counter-terrorism participation on a scale of 1 to 10. He gave Pakistan a “3.” Apparently, the U.S. has been too afraid of losing this minimal level of cooperation to forcefully confront Pakistan until now.

The U.S. has given Pakistan until the end of this month to help capture or kill five senior terrorist leaders, including Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri, or unilateral raids like the one that killed Bin Laden will take place.  Pakistan is again passing the buck to the U.S., complaining that it is not being forthcoming in providing intelligence about al-Zawahiri’s location. Of course, the Pakistanis fail to mention their habit of tipping off terrorists about forthcoming operations. Then-CIA Director Leon Panetta recently presented the Pakistanis with proof that terrorists running a bomb factory were given notice to evacuate before the military arrived.

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  • Pakistani Nation

    Pakistan Army should take this opportunity to get rid of American inflence in our country affairs through exploitaion of the Aid (actually it is reimbursement of our military expenses incurred on behalf of America). Pakistani nation is ready to pay more taxes for the fulfillment of War on Terror expenses of our Army but begging from America is not acceptable to Pakistani nation.

    • http://loganswarning.com/ ChristopherL

      It is more than a reimbursement.

      But since Islam is so great, go fend for yourselves. On top of it, don't come to America. We will survive.

    • MrSwing

      Spoken like a paleo-con.

  • Martin P USMC ret.

    The Pakistanis have been talking out both sides of their mouths for years, taking our money, and aid, and then impeding all of our anti terror efforts, like we don't know they're lying to us. America with the drone strikes is merely taking care of business in an appropriate fashion, while Pakistan calls us names and helps our enemies.
    we should cut off all of the aid, and treat them as the enemy they are

  • martel

    Why are we giving them any aid at all? Oh, I know. We like to see happy people so we give the Pakis our hard earned tax dollars so they can laugh (at us). How do you feel about remitting part of your income to Obama to aid Pakistan? Work harder, earn more so we can increase the amount of money down the rabble, er, rabbit hole.

  • John

    For me (christian who comes from the middles east) , The Pakistanis are the filthiest people on earth. then come the Egyptians, they can't be trusted or believed, they are liars,hatemongers, criminals, they follow the exact instruction of (the perfect man) Muhammad. Obama and Clinton are filthy like them, they are supporting the muslim brotherhood in Egypt, the criminal organization who's responsible for the killing of our christian brothers in the middle east.

    • Jim_C

      "Obama and Clinton," yeah right, as if every US president in the last 40 years hasn't had the same policy. That aid is probably the reason your dumb-ss is still alive, by the way.

  • Chezwick_mac

    The withholding of $800 million will either lead to some introspection inside the Pakistani military and security establishment and – hopefully – a re-ordering of priorities, or will result in a further deterioration of relations. Either outcome is preferable to the status quo.

  • StephenD

    How is it that we are in bed with Pakistan anyway? India is more of a friend to America than Pakistan would/could ever be. After all, Islamist regimes don't like India either. I'd think our efforts would be much better spent in getting better relations with India. They'd be able to keep Pakistan in line and would be a good friend to have when the stuff hits the fan over there.

    • Raymond in DC

      That's exactly what Israel is doing – working only with India. There's hardly a Pakistani who's ever met a Jew, never mind an Israeli. No matter, Pakistanis despise them anyway, so there's no room for illusion. Many young Israelis fresh out of IDF service travel to India, while others establish business and trade relationships. And given that they both face a similar enemy, there's extensive cooperation on security and military matters.

  • Asher

    Its about time we quit giving taxpayer dollars and aid to Pakistan and Palestine for that matter…I am sick of supplying the funding for Terrorist Organizations, lets see how these terrorists get their funding elsewhere, quit taking from honest good Americans to create chaos, attack Israel, and attack churches and synagogues…Fed Up

  • Jim_C

    Here's the thing about our foreign aid…and I am just as frustrated and ready to "get real" with these countries. But our foreign aid essentially helped build and maintain infrastructure in Egypt, helped them form a working middle class…hence, stability (as stable as countries in that region get), a cooling of tensions with our ally Israel, and some little intelligence. Idea being that if people are working and have some stake in their society, they'll stop scapegoating us and our allies.

    Bottom line, we're paying countries not to fight with each other in exchange for a stable oil market. You do wonder how much bang for the buck you get, though.

  • Roger Rodriguez

    I think the Pakistanis know without the US Aid – their country is finished. Even with all that money – they've fallen way behind their traditional rival India – which seems to be leapfrogging ahead in every sphere. PAkistan needs the relationship more than its bravado!!

    China, unlike US, is an untested territory. Sure there's a lot of talk about Pakistani-China friendship – which, though appears to be genuine- is nothing but a carmederie forged by the distrust of the two nations against India.

    Pakistans gamble that putting all their bucks into the China angle seems flawed. When India and China solve their long standing issues – China's motivation in propping up a failed state like Pakistan would seem a liability considering their interests in promoting ties with a country like India.

    Whatever Pakistan's strategy is – I think its time they introspect!! Because otherwise – they'll go from an almost failed state to a collapsed state overnight!!

  • Raymond in DC

    Oh, if only the US could put the whole of Af-Pak under a form of quarantine. That means no immigration or refugees, no military or economic assistance, restrictions on trade and visitation, etc. Seriously, they're more a threat to us than Cuba.

    As to running the US drone campaign, I'd seriously look at operating from the "stans" bordering Afghanistan's north.

  • MrPerestroika

    Just abandon Pakistan and Afghanistan- throw in our Lot with the Indians – let them deal with the Pakistanis on their own terms!!
    Pretty sure they'll do a much better job at taming these feral beasts.

  • huntingnasrallah

    $2.7 billion in military aid, annually, plus $1.5 billion in non-military aid via Kerry-Lugar equals $4.2 billion in annual U.S. support for the Pakistani Government. The removal of $800 million in military aid is an exercise in leverage. The problem is, the Pak military will now be in position to challenge the Zardari government's mismanagement of the economy in general and geopolitics in particular. The removal of $800 million in military aid speaks of a complete failure of the 2009 AfPak Counterinsurgency policy of pinching the Taliban between the ISAF and Paki military forces. The combination of this reversal as well as a drawdown in troops on the Afghani side of the equation spells only VICTORY for the Taliban.

  • elihew

    Well it's about time! Now cut off monetary aid to all the other terrorist states, bring our boys back home, and focus on the problems in our country, of which there are many!

  • Lightning Jack

    Pakistan should be India's problem to contend with, not ours, since they are both neighboring states which have nuclear weapons, and theocratic-ideological differences in their national governments.

    India is, and has been, affected by Pakistan's irresponsible and intentional use of terrorism not only in its own country, but the Islamic fundamentalist hotbed of Cashmere as well.

    Why is it that we spend $100s of billions committing strategic insanity supporting terror sponsoring regimes which use that money to aid and abed regional and global jihadists activities, while China doesn't spend a dime and suffers no ill consequences?

  • wasicu36

    Seriously, we have a MUCH more lethal enemy right here at home than any nut in the sandbox wearing a dirty nightshirt: Obama & the Dumocrats are accomplishing damage that the mullahs can only dream of The poison those scum have injected into the nation may already have been lethal, we just haven't fallen down yet.

    • Jim_C

      Whatever you big baby.

  • http://car-warranty-insurance.com/ JMassa

    Finally. Hopefully this should make people question the amount of much money we so freely ship overseas, to those who don't need or even wan't it. Every dollar spent overseas on handouts and nation building overseas is a dollar robbed from the pockets of every day citizens.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    We are almost flat broke and it is probably a good thing to cut ties with
    the Pakastani fraud. I see however a political face being on the removal of
    funds we do not have to forward to any supposed ally and the default is
    almost cleverly punted to Islamabad. We need the money here, I almost
    lost my car in a pothole that gets bigger and bigger and almost looks like
    a surreal Taliban cave………………………………………………..William

  • Dispozovdaburka

    After all the billions that we have given the Pakistani's the 800 million is a drop in the bucket.
    We should have given the billions in money to help India deal with the Pakistani's.

    The same applies to Israel. We should give them all the aid they need so they can deal effectively with their delightful neighbors.

  • Ronald W. Carnine

    Pakistan wants the US to leave them alone? So be it. Hopefully the Congress will not cave in sometime down the road. Pakistan will not stand as she is. Pakistan will become part of the rest of the mess. The only problem I have about that is her nukes. But, there should be absolutely no more aid. They think they have gone into debt helping the US? That is pure bologna. That's the only source of income that has kept them going. Helping the US? If that is true how did Bin Laden spend 5yrs in comfort across the street from Pakistan's premiere police and military facility. He was a real warrior alright. Sitting on his butt in luxury while he sends thousands of innocents to their deaths. A real tough guy.

    • alexander

      they all say:
      Yankees go home!!! Leave us a loan!! ;)

  • alexander

    why there is ANY FOREIGN AID??? We have too much money??????????????
    Is anybody semi-normal out there?

    • Jim_C

      Well, do you think having a steady supply of oil is a good thing or a bad thing?

      If you think it's a good thing, you agree with the reason for foreign aid. It's basically money that pays people not to get into wars with their neighbors.

  • Jaladhi

    The aid to this double dealing, lying cheat nation should have been cut off a long time back. Why was is started in the first place knowing Pakistan's record over the years? Anyway, it is still not too late and we can save some money thta is needed right here in America.

  • Skj

    Stop funding terrorist sponsoring Pakistan