US scaling back expectations on Pakistan

On Christmas Eve, CJ and I published a report stating that the US’s reliance on Pakistan for cooperation on counterterrorism operations is flawed, as the US-Pakistan relationship is deteriorating and the Pakistani support for American CT operations has never been more than tepid. Just one day later, on Christmas Day, The New York Times published an article titled “US Prepares for a Curtailed Relationship With Pakistan,” which said:

With the United States facing the reality that its broad security partnership with Pakistan is over, American officials are seeking to salvage a more limited counterterrorism alliance that they acknowledge will complicate their ability to launch attacks against extremists and move supplies into Afghanistan.

The United States will be forced to restrict drone strikes, limit the number of its spies and soldiers on the ground and spend more to transport supplies through Pakistan to allied troops in Afghanistan, American and Pakistani officials said. United States aid to Pakistan will also be reduced sharply, they said.

“We’ve closed the chapter on the post-9/11 period,” said a senior United States official, who requested anonymity to avoid antagonizing Pakistani officials. “Pakistan has told us very clearly that they are re-evaluating the entire relationship.”

At some point, US officials who make policy with regard to Pakistan will realize that Pakistan’s cooperation in counterterrorism efforts will be extremely limited at best.

The Obama administration is now eager to push the meme that al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan is defeated [see this article from The Washington Post, as well as this Threat Matrix report, for background]. And eventually, that view will also be discredited.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • gerald says:

    Should have done this years ago. The Pakistanis are the Worst allies we have ever had. We need to concenrate on making the Afghan security forces as strong as possible. So they be able to resist the cross border invasion that will come after we draw down the ISAF.

  • Charu says:

    What is disheartening is that the stenographers in the establishment media unquestioningly swallow the drivel put out by these officials. My sense is that the Pakistani state will have to completely collapse before action gets taken, and it might be too late then; especially if the collapse is prolonged by external financial aid.
    Thank you very much for your lone reasoned voice to the contrary. Hope that it will be a happier New Year!

  • Devin Leonard says:

    Pakistan has NEVER been a solid or even 50% of the way partner with the US in Afghanistan. We gave them boatloads of aid and in return they played both sides down the middle. The ISI in particular has always been a bunch of backstabbing punks. This latest incident is a way for Pakistan to do what it has wanted to do for years…screw America and support thier Taliban and Haqqanni buddies aginst India. Obama needs to cut aid SIGNIFICANTLY, and show Pakistan that they are nothing without us. And we need to bind our ties with India and throw it in Pakistan’s face.

  • Nic says:

    When will the Central Asian supply routes be able to supply all of ISAF/US needs at the current troop levels?

  • mike merlo says:

    time to ‘sabotage’ the fertilizer plants in Pakistan, toss in a few ‘Ojiri’s’ & pull a rendition on Hamid Gul & few others just for kix.

  • mike merlo says:

    on the subject but off the subject! With Mullah Omar no longer a FBI Top 10 is he now on a milk carton?

  • sports says:

    My belief is the Paki’s are a corrupt and bankrupt country. Pakistan is finally coming clean and showing their true colors. Meanwhile, the Taliban will continue chipping away at their society (killing their soldiers, etc) and future attacks on America will originate from Pakistan primarily because the terrorists are being protected just as they were protected in Afghanistan prior to 9/11.

  • ds says:

    The administration is trying to get re-elected. I don’t think it’s unwise or unreasonable for them to argue that they’ve put a major dent in AQ in Pakistan. I didn’t read the whole Post article, but is anyone in the administration claiming AQ in Pakistan is done, or just that they’ve been ‘heavily degraded’ to use their language? I also don’t think that there’s a lot of evidence that they’re placing much reliance on cooperation from Pakistan (see not alerting them before OBL raid).

  • Paul D says:

    The Punjab right wingers funded by Saudi Arabia fear the breaking up of Pakistan and water supply from India more than anything.lets help India with this and target the likes of Gul,Saeed and Co who poison their population with hate!

  • gitmo-joe says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time! “United States aide to Pakistan will be cut sharply”. Amen.
    This is not out of blind hate for Pakistan – its a country in chaos. Our mistake was considering the uncoordinated groups that run the country to be a “government”.
    Some of the statements and actions coming out of Pakistan lately would be good material for a Twilight Zone episode. You can’t do military coordination with a partner that drifts in and out of reality.
    Time to call it quits.


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