Pakistan and Afghanistan Feel Trump’s Touch

Photo by The U.S. Army | Public Domain

On January 4, the US announced that it was cutting off security assistance to Pakistan.  The reason the US gave for the decision is that Pakistan is not helping the US defeat the Taliban and the Haqqani network which US military forces are fighting in Afghanistan.  US military aid to Pakistan comes to “roughly $1.3 billion annually,” according to the New York Times.

Pakistan is not interested in fighting jihadists—never has been.  Pakistan’s predominant security concern is not jihadist groups, but its immense neighbor (but not friend) India.  Pakistan uses jihadist groups as proxies to harass India and has done so since independence.

So Trump was correct (it happens) when he tweeted on New Year’s Day that Pakistan was playing the US for “fools.”  Trump was merely saying the same thing as experts on Pakistan, albeit in cruder language.  Numerous authorities have declared that Pakistan plays a “double game” with the United States, cooperating with the US just enough to keep the heat down and US funds flowing, while secretly collaborating with violent jihadist groups.

Trump went on to say in his New Year’s tweet that Pakistan “give[s] safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”  That’s true, too, and Trump was merely repeating what US Presidents have been saying since George W. Bush.  That’s the thing about Trump.  Trump is a walking, talking illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect, but…

Read more