In his first public statement of 2018, President Trump sent the following message via Twitter:
"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists whom we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"
The first thing which should be clarified here is that Trump is not talking about foreign aid as the brief message would imply. The US pays Pakistan for using its sovereign territory for operations in Afghanistan. This might also include the cost of military supplies, advisers, and training that the US conducts with Pakistan for the same purpose.
The statement itself has several problems with it. The late Osama bin Laden may disagree that Pakistan gives the US little help. The Pakistani Government has actually been quite helpful; but the current government is unable to cope fully with Wahhabi infiltrators. And whoever is misinforming the President here (i.e. Rainbow Rex Tillerson, McMaster, etc) should recall that the previous Pakistani Government under General Musharaaf was much stronger. But Musharaaf was forced out by American pressure.
Musharaaf angered the arch-RINO George Bush Jr. by carrying out counterterrorist activities on his own and expecting Pakistan to be treated as a sovereign country instead of a Beltway colony. The last straw for the Swamp RINOs came when a joint British-Pakistani operation foiled a massive Al-Qaeda plot to hijack ten airliners at once. The US was left totally out of the loop and embarrassed that they were upstaged. In act of petty revenge, Bush forced both Musharaaf and British PM Tony Blair out of office.
Those events happened about 15 years ago, the time to which Trump alludes. The problems with Pakistan are largely ones of previous Administrations' bungling. Trump, too, is also getting advice from very pro-India interests. Indian-Americans are one minority that is heavily Republican. Unfortunately, most are RINOs like Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal.
If Trump cuts off Pakistan, it is liable to make very little long-term problems for either country. Pakistan is also very closely allied with China: probably even moreso than with us. China will step into any void we leave. Maybe Trump is hoping to maneuver China into taking over US military responsibilities in Pakistan? It could be so; but it's hardly helpful to sour US-Pakistani relations in the process.
Wahhabi terrorism in Pakistan is a problem. But we have to recall here that ferreting out terror cells, radical mosques and madrassahs is a lot bigger job there than here. When it comes to the things that Trump accuses Pakistan of doing, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, the UAE, and Bahrain have been doing a lot worse---and soaking up a lot more American dollars in the process.
Trump needs to re-think this approach towards Pakistan. This doesn't mean throwing more money at the problem; but following the more constructive path of mutualism and win-win cooperation that has restored our relationship with China. The Swamp RINOs who are advising Trump on foreign affairs are too mired in the discredited Pax Americana approach of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. It didn't work for them and won't work for Trump either. Trump needs to reset with Pakistan and go to the Art of the Deal strategies in foreign policy, which have met with great success wherever they've been tried.
Vice-President Pence and Pakistani President
Abbasi Meet at UN in September
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