Issue Brief on “Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia: A recipe for disaster”

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe-havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked to together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices. But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. At the same time, they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harboring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace.”[1]

The onus of US failure in Afghanistan has once again fallen on Pakistan. In a much awaited Afghanistan and South Asia policy of the new Trump administration, Pakistan has been singularly singled out by President Trump as he announced the core pillars of his strategy to prosecute the US war in Afghanistan on August 21, 2017. Even before President Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, in July 2017, Washington refused to pay $350 million in military aid to Pakistan following the inability of the US Defence Secretary to certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network.[2]

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