HAWAII, April 26, 2012 – Pakistan’s test launch of a Hatf IV nuclear-capable ballistic missile Wednesday begs an immediate question: is continued funding of the IRP really in America’s best interests?
According to the State Department’s requested FY2013 budget, some $928.3 million is requested to “focus on programs to help Pakistan address its energy challenges, increase economic growth including agriculture, help stabilize border areas, and improve delivery of social services, particularly education and health.”
While the Obama Administration has already seriously curtailed financial assistance to Pakistan as a result of widening tensions between our two countries, over the last decade the United States has already given upwards of $18 billion dollars in military and economic financial assistance to the IRP.
The relationship between Pakistan and the United States is very much an unstable love-hate, on/off affair in which mutual suspicions and unresolved angers boil beneath the surface.
Osama bin Laden was found hiding in Pakistan in near-plain sight in spite of assurances that he was not there and U.S. forces had to resort to the use of stealth helicopters to raid his facility, underlining the fact that the U.S. military is not welcome in Pakistan.
In Mary Anne Weaver’s Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan, a local famously complained, “In Balochistan, we are allergic to the United States. We are against you. You never try to understand us. You always try to be a nanny, or come in marching with a big stick.”
The United States should seriously review its commitments in South and Central Asia, especially in Pakistan. American military and economic aid distorts the fiscal priorities of the nations who receive it and deprives the U.S. taxpayer of hard earned monies that could better be used at home.
Any other unstable country with a rapid nuclear weapons development program such as the IRP has would be viewed as a destabilizing actor and not a partner. It makes little sense that the United States should be, in effect, paying tribute to Pakistan even as they build strategic weapons of mass destruction.
Is the United States co-enabling Pakistan? Does the American taxpayer really need to keep footing the bill for Pakistan’s military and economy, even as our own military sees massive reductions and our economy continues to stagnate? These are serious questions which demand immediate answers for Election 2012.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.