The US and Pakistan: Keeping Friends Close and Enemies… Out
On November 26, 2011 the Pakistani government was found red with anger after a series of strikes from a NATO aircraft killed at least 25 soldiers at the northwestern border with Afghanistan. The supreme army commander of Pakistan called the attacks unprovoked, but the Afghan security officers said that they were involved in a nighttime raid of a supposed Taliban hideout when they came under fire and responded.
This incident is seemingly one more episode in the wild and sporadic U.S.-Pakistan relationship. But the key indicator in the story? Less than 48 hours a senior Pakistani defense official acknowledged that Pakistani troops fired first. He defended his troops by saying that there was unregistered activity in a nearby bush-covered area and his troops sent a flare first followed by a mortar and machine gun fire.
In this case, as in so many others, Pakistan is literally caught red-handed causing trouble. Pakistan is like the little brother of the family who seems so sweet and innocent but is secretly stirring up trouble for the whole family. After a 510 million dollar earthquake relief effort and 7.5 billion dollar civilian and military aid program, the U.S finally caught and withheld 800 million dollars in military aid to the country. This is the first step that should have been taken long ago.
In the near future Pakistan will continue its streaky behavior. One day it will cry out that it has been wronged, and then the next, the truth is uncovered, yet it still plays the innocent, picked-on, “everyone feel sorry for me” card. Pakistan has only been using the United States for its money, and that will not change until the U.S. takes action.
Ties need to be severed with Pakistan. In the past, great things have come from the relationship; dating all the way back to 1947, Pakistan has sought the help of the U.S. and provided valuable information in return. However, now the Obama administration is trying to end a war that Pakistan is trying to keep alive. As long as the war remains, Pakistan can keep syphoning money out of the U.S. That is why the country keeps going from hot to cold overnight.
Pakistan poses a real threat to the United States. U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East will be in danger of retaliation; Pakistan will continue to seek monetary aid from the U.S., and most daunting of all, Pakistan could be behind the scenes orchestrating a coalition of insurgent Middle Easterners ready to turn on the U.S. at any minute. There really is no benefit left to gain from U.S.-Pakistan relations, so it is about time the U.S. gracefully bows out. It may not hold with the old adage, but it certainly seems that it is time to keep our friends close and our enemies out.