After 8-years of dealing with an embarrassing President, who drew fake red-lines, perhaps some of these countries who’ve been thumbing their noses at the United States, while holding a hand out for billions of free US taxpayer dollars, will learn the hard way they’re not dealing with a community organizer anymore…
The Trump administration on Friday announced the United States will deny Pakistan military aid amounting to $255 million as it expects Islamabad to take decisive action “against terrorists and militants on its soil”.
“The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time,” said a spokesperson of the President’s National Security Council in a statement to Hindustan Times.
“The President has made clear that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan’s actions in support of the South Asia Strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance.
“The Administration continues to review Pakistan’s level of cooperation.”
The statement reflected and sealed the administration’s complete disillusionment with Pakistan, which had sought to brazenly disregard the explicit warnings issued by President Donald Trump personally and leading members of his cabinet, such as secretaries James Mattis and Rex Tillerson.
Financial Times reported last week that “the Trump administration is considering dropping Pakistan as an ally as it examines tough measures to quell more than 20 terrorist groups it says are based in the country.” Here again, the President who is daily derided and ridiculed by foreign policy “experts” is right, and they are wrong: Pakistan is no ally, and has not been for years. This is a rupture that is much needed and long overdue.
President Trump has accused the Pakistani government of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. And it’s true, with the most notorious of these being Osama bin Laden himself. Journalist Carlotta Gall, who reported from Afghanistan for the New York Times for twelve years, reported in March 2014 that:
Soon after the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s house, a Pakistani official told me that the United States had direct evidence that the ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, knew of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. The information came from a senior United States official, and I guessed that the Americans had intercepted a phone call of Pasha’s or one about him in the days after the raid. ‘He knew of Osama’s whereabouts, yes,’ the Pakistani official told me. The official was surprised to learn this and said the Americans were even more so.
He shouldn’t have been. It had been obvious for years at that point, and remains obvious, that the Pakistanis had been aiding the same jihadists that the U.S. government has been giving them billions of dollars to fight.
“This could be the severest blow dealt to Islamabad by this administration if it indeed decided to withhold it,” said a leading US expert on Pakistan, who did not want to be identified. “There is more coming,” the expert added. –IOTWReport
The amount, $255 million, is left over from $1.1 billion aid earmarked for Pakistan in 2016, and which included non-military aid as well. It was cleared for handing over in August, just days before it would lapse as unspent money.
First reported by The New York Times, the move to withhold the money, which may not be large but would have signaled US backing, is reported to have come shortly after Pakistan refused to hand over to the Americans an operative of the Haqqani Network apprehended during the rescue of an American-Canadian family in October.
The Haqqani Network is an affiliate of Afghan Taliban and works out of Pakistan, inflicting massive casualties on the US-led international coalition in Afghanistan. Frustrated by Islamabad’s reluctance to give them, the United States has tied large portions of military aid payments to Pakistan for its actions aimed at debilitating the network.
Pakistan, however, has chosen to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in such payments over 2015 and 2016, instead of kicking out the terrorists. And it has lost equity.
The Trump administration was clear from the start it wouldn’t countenance continuity in ties and aid without real changes. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” President Donald Trump had said unveiling his new South Asia strategy in August. “But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.” –Hindustan Times