Aid to Pakistan II

Apparently some US policymakers have decided to cut some of the US' aid to Pakistan.  I'll keep the commentary short on this one as I've already commented on the topic before at greater length.  I still have a suspicion that getting some distance between the US and Pakistan is not for the relationship's greater good—assuming that what is "good" entails keeping the Pakistani government afloat.  The government needs to maintain some semblance of authority or credibility amongst their own people, and publicly bickering with the US may be one way to do that.  Suffering some sort of tangible cost should enhance the credibility of their stand.  

Alternatively, there are surely very real reasons why US policymakers would be upset with Pakistan, and I also have to wonder if this provided an opportunity for some policymakers to start trimming some fat, as it were.  There were rumblings earlier in the year that Republican policymakers wanted to start cutting foreign aid.  Granted, the aid categories that Republicans were focusing on were really not military aid, but it's possible that some of these policymakers thought that we could save some money by cutting some military aid to countries who are, possibly, grossly overpaid relative to the kind/quality of assistance they've given us.  Take this with a large grain of salt, however, as this is wild speculation and I haven't really looked into this in further detail.  It's not unreasonable to think that military aid would be on the table, though—some prominent Republicans have come out in support of making cuts to the military within the past year.

It's moments like these when I really wish I could be a fly on the wall of some of these back room conversations.  Invariably there is going to be a public face and a private face to these kinds of events, and it would be nice to get a better grasp on just how close or far from one another those two faces actually are.   

Michael Flynn

About Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Binghamton University in 2013. His research focuses on the political and economic determinants of foreign economic and security policy, security issues, and state repression.

One Reply to “Aid to Pakistan II”

  1. The recent move on aid was characterized as a withholding (of some $800 million), ostensibly at least in response to Pakistani denials of visas to US trainers, rather than a cutting. (I have some posts up about this and other US-Pakistan issues at my blog.)

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