The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Pakistan is an Islamic terror state.
That point can't objectively be disputed. Pakistan's political and religious elites promote terrorism. Its government funds and directs terrorists. It even hid Osama bin Laden.
Pakistan ended up being a member of the anti-terrorist coalition in two ways.
1. The Bush administration used blunt force intimidation after 9/11.
President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan says the United States threatened to bomb his country back to the Stone Age after the 9/11 attacks if he did not help America’s war on terror.
Of course that was during that brief period after 9/11 when we had woken up enough to start acting like America again. And we literally went hunting for terrorist heads.
But that's also a little useful context for the inevitable media outrage over President Trump's tweets. As time went on, the Bush admin softened. The Condoleezza Rice era of American foreign policy was almost as bad as the Clinton\Kerry era that followed. And by then, the only reason Obama approved the Osama bin Laden operation was a two-fold political agenda, one of which was electoral and the other about aiding Islamic terrorists in Gitmo by putting a live Osama bin Laden through a civilian trial. (What the men on the ground delivered was quite different than what Hussein expected.)
2. Distinguishing between local and global Islamic terror
Israel is the most frequent victim of this distinction. But India has been victimized by it as well. The distinction says that some Islamic terrorists are just local. And they aren't really ideological, but just fighting over territory. Obama made this same excuse for ISIS back in the day. But Pakistan's Islamic terrorists aren't just local. Islamic terror is never just local.
But now the foreign policy butcher's bill is coming due.
President Trump opened 2018 with a social media salvo against Pakistan, accusing the Muslim-majority nation of harboring terrorists while expressing frustration that the United States has “foolishly” sent billions in aid to the country.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
The New York Times reported last week that the Trump administration is considering withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan to demonstrate its dissatisfaction with how they confront terrorism in their country.
Pakistan, like most Muslim countries, plays a double game. And it will go on playing a double game. Pressuring it just means that it will play the game harder.